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THE ^EEN'S PROGRESS
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Queen Elizabeth as Diana
Other Elizabethan Sketches
By Felix E. Schelling
Omnia rerum omnium^ si observentur^ indicia
sunt et argumentum morum ex minimis quoque
Senec. Epist. 52. 12.
BOSTON & NEW YORK
HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & COMPANY
COPYRIGHT 1904 BY FELIX E. SCHELLING
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Published October 1Q04
THE following sketches — for they claim
to be no more — are some of the lighter
matters that have floated on a stream
of reading and study which has already carried^
let it be hoped^ a somewhat weightier freight.
It is one thing to taste the charm and flavor of
an age ; it is another to convey it. The days
of Elizabeth and fames were nothing if not
multiform, Their trivialities even have their
place ^ and their power to complete the picture y
whether historical or literary : a power not al-
ways apprehended in view of the number and
variety of the important flgures that crowd
the spacious canvas of that incomparable time.
When Ben fonson jotted in his commonplace-
book the things which took his fancy as he read
or the thoughts which rose in his mind touching
certain human actions ^ he called his notes ^^dis-
coveries made upon men and matter!' Later
came the appraiser with his stylus and inventory
of good things and of bad. Here is neither ap-
praisement nor discovery ; hut the object simply
written down as it appears to him who writes
to-day ; more truly seen^ let us trusty than yester-
day : perchance in need of more light from a
I. The ^een's Progress . . . Page i
II. An Elizabethan Will .... 27
III. Thomas Stucley, Gentleman Ad-
IV. An Old-Time Friendship . . 75
V. *'An Aery of Children, Little
VI. A Groatsworth of Wit . . .129
VII. Plays in the Making . . . .149
VIII. When Music and Sweet Poetry
IX. Thalia in Oxford 201
X. A Journey to the North . . .221
Queen Elizabeth as Diana . Frontispiece
From the picture in the collection of the Marquess
of Salisbury, at Hatfield House
By permission of Gonpil & Co.
The Masque of Zabeta .... Page 22
Queen Elizabeth, Juno, Venus, and Minerva. From
the picture in the royal collection of Hatfield Court
By permission of Gonpil &f Co,
Sir Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke . . 78
After the original in the collection of Willoughby
Edward Alleyn, Founder of Dulwich
After the original in Dulwich College
Ben Jonson 224
From the painting after Honthorst, in the National
WilHam Drummond 242
After the miniature at Hawthornden
THE ^EEN'S PROGRESS
The Queen's Progress
IT has been said that the character of the
great Queen Elizabeth can be painted
only in high lights ; that if there were
shadows in her nature, there were no depths ;
or at least that, if there were once depths,
so consummate a mistress of deception and
subterfuge had she become that it is idle to
enquire if she were ever sincere. Brilliant,
accomplished and imperious, tortuous in
details, unscrupulous in choice of means to
an end as her master Machiavelli himself
almost, this latest daughter of the Italian
Renaissance preserved — again like Machia-
velli — a largeness of design in her political
The ^lueen^s Progress
doings which often raises them from the
pettiness of intrigue to the wider domain
of statesmanship. It was the recognition
of this which kept men like Sir Nicholas
Bacon, Sir Francis Walsingham, and the
Cecils her servants and councillors. But
despite her haughty, unreasonable temper,
her vanity and susceptibility to gross flattery,
her mendacity, and her meanness in money
affairs, there must have been something in
Elizabeth as a woman to hold to her such
men as Sidney, Spenser, and Raleigh, and
to beget in them that choice spirit in which
were mingled patriotic loyalty to a queen
who embodied in her person the glory of
England, and a chivalric devotion to ideal
womanhood, each ennobling and dignifying
the other. Years after Elizabeth's death so
grave a man as Camden, the antiquarian,
could write : " She was of admirable beauty
and well deserving a crown, of modest grav-
ity, excellent wit, royal soul, happy mem-
The ^lueen^ s Progress
ory, and indefatigably given to the study of
Whatever else may have been true of
Queen Elizabeth, she had a genius for so-
ciety. Her judgment, her tact, in all that
pertained to the daily intercourse of the
sovereign with her Court, her Parliament,
or her people, was unerring. The skill with
which she passed from the gravity of the
council-chamber to a flirtation with Alen-
9on or a galliard prearranged for the Span-
ish minister to witness her Majesty dancing
unawares, was " an admiration to behold."
For the wise counsellor, the witty courtier,
the dull citizen, or the duller college pedant,
Elizabeth had ever the proper answer or the
ready retort. She could be gracious if she
chose after a sore infliction of the inordi-
nate length and preternatural learning of
an Elizabethan sermon. She could reply,
with many graceful womanish qualms as
to the quality of her Latinity, in a carefully
The ^lueen" s Progress
unprepared speech, to learned addresses by
the heads, dons, or scholars of Oxford or
Cambridge. She could frighten her Com-
mons, in language fit for a fishwife, into
the obsequious granting of her subsidies
against their will ; arouse by her eloquence
the untutored train-bands at Tilbury to a
frenzy of martial ardor ; or cap an epigram
which a saucy courtier had scratched on the
window-pane for her Majesty's eye. Fond
of pleasure and display, thirsty for praise
that might be interpreted to come as the
unsought tribute of her beauty or accom-
plishment as a woman, Elizabeth none the
less maintained, through many deviations
and some vicissitude, the attitude of a
queen, beloved by her people, and re-
spected and feared abroad. How far she
was merely a consummate actress, how far a
woman, weak in all her strength, pathetic
despite her queenly station, must be left for
each to decide for himself. Certain it is
The §lueen*s Progress
that if Elizabeth was an actress, she had the
world for her stage and marvelling Christ-
endom for her auditors.
Like her father before her, the Queen
was an enthusiastic lover of pomp and dis-
play. There was scarcely an action of her
life from the trifling forms of the daily
routine at Court to the dignified ceremo-
nials of sovereignty which was not studied
for its effect. Hentzner, a contemporary
German traveller, has described the Queen's
passage through the presence chamber of
her palace at Greenwich on her way to
morning service in her chapel. Somewhat
shortened, his words run : —
" First went gentlemen, barons, earls.
Knights of the Garter, all richly dressed
and bareheaded ; next came the Chancellor,
bearing the seals in a red silk purse, be-
tween two, one of which carried the Royal
sceptre, the other the sword of state, in a
red scabbard, studded with golden Jleurs de
The ^lueen^s Progress
lis^ the point upwards : next came the
Queen, very majestic ; her face oblong, fair,
but wrinkled ; her eyes small, yet black
and pleasant; her nose a little hooked; her
lips narrow; she had in her ears two pearls
with very rich drops ; she wore false hair,
and that red; upon her head she had a
small crown ; her bosom was uncovered
as all the English ladies have it till they
marry, and she had on a necklace of ex-
ceeding fine jewels ; her hands were small,
her fingers long, and her stature neither
tall nor low; her air was stately, her man-
ner of speaking mild and obliging. As she
went along in all this state and magnifi-
cence, she spoke very graciously, first to
one, then to another, whether foreign Min-
isters or those who attended for different
reasons, in English, French, and Italian ;
for, besides being well skilled in Greek,
Latin, and the languages I have mentioned,
she is mistress of Spanish, Scotch, and
The ^lueen^s Progress
Dutch. Whoever speaks to her, it is kneel-
ing ; now and then she raises some with
her hand. Wherever she turned her face, as
she was going along, everybody fell down
on their knees. The ladies of the Court
followed next to her, very handsome and
well-shaped, and for the most part dressed
in white. She was guarded on each side by
the gentlemen pensioners, fifty in number,
with gilt battle-axes. In the ante-chapel
next the hall where we were, petitions
were presented to her, and she received
them most graciously, which occasioned
the acclamation of 'Long live Queen Eliza-
beth ! ' She answered it with *■ I thank you,
my good people.' "
It was amid stately and ceremonious
scenes such as this that Elizabeth drank in
the adulation so dear to every sovereign and
every woman's heart; for in popular accla-
mation she must have found justification
for the sinuousness and insincerity of a polit-
The ^lueerP s Progress
ical policy which could not but have preyed
on a conscience even so robust as her own.
It was, moreover, in the midst of such
scenes that she found a solace for that
loneliness which fate and her royal deter-
mination had decreed for her, and which
ever attended her greatness like its shadow.
Orations, songs and poems of welcome
and farewell, allegorical groups, arches,
and decorations, processions, plays, morali-
ties and masques were Elizabeth's delight,
and continued such to the end. It may be
surmised that far more of the success of the
earlier Elizabethan drama than is usually
supposed is due to this taste of the Queen,
which offered an example for the fash-
ionable world to follow and afforded an
excuse for the existence of theatrical com-
panies by royal or other patronage. Of
these varied amusements the *' progress ''
was high in the royal favor. It combined
several distinct advantages : amongst them a
The ^lueeri's Progress n
change of scene, opportunity for the dis-
play of loyalty and hospitality on the part
of the Queen's host, and, counting by no
means least in the estimation of her prudent
Majesty, a material saving in her house-
hold budget. Hence it was that Elizabeth
was wont to " go on progress '' in the sum-
mer months, to sojourn with her loving
subjects from a few days to weeks ; to pass
from one to another, visit the provincial
towns and the Universities, and enjoy a
surfeit of feasting, adulation, allegorical
pageantry and entertainment. According to
the excellent antiquarian, John Nichols,
nearly three hundred castles, towns, or
country-seats were thus visited by the Queen
and her Court, and some hundred and sixty
of her more important subjects had at one
time or another submitted to the glory and
the charge of entertaining a royal guest, at
times to their permanent impoverishment.
To none of the progresses of Queen Eliz-
12 The ^lueeffs Progress
abeth attaches a greater interest than to
that during which she spent no less than
nineteen days at Kenilworth Castle, the
guest of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester,
in July, 1575. The story of this progress
has often been told by contemporaries, by
antiquarians, and lastly and definitively by
Sir Walter Scott, who has used the extant
historical material to admirable advantage
in his transfer of these brilliant scenes to the
delightful pages of Kenilworth, Leicester
was then at the height of the elaborate
and subtile courtship which he paid to his
sovereign through several years, sanguine
of success, and eager in pursuit of the most
difficult mistress that ever bade lover hope
only to play with his despair. It required no
little temerity to combine the role of sub-
ject, lover and councillor to such a woman
and to such a queen ; and a cleverer man
than Leicester might well have been in-
volved in the royal toils that were cease-
The ^^een^s Progress 13
lessly weaving to the confusion, perplexity,
and overreaching of foe and friend. An in-
terest of a different kind has been assigned
by some to this progress, from the possibiHty
that the boy Shakespeare may have been
present (as was the greater part of the popu-
lation of Warwickshire at various times),
and that he may have received — as others
have been bold to surmise — from this ear-
liest contact with pageantry and stage-craft
the first strong impetus towards his future
In the absence of an obsequious daily
press to chronicle the goings and comings of
royalty, we can imagine how impatiently the
curious, whose station in life forbade attend-
ance at Court, must have awaited the pam-
phlet which was sure to appear describing
the Queen's last progress. Laneham's Letter ^
Whearin part of the Entertainment untoo the
^eenz Majesty at Killingworth Castl in War-
wik Sheer in this Soomerz Progress iz signified,
14 The ^lueerPs Progress
purports to be no more than a private mes-
sage to " hiz freend a Citizen and Merchaunt
of London/' It was, however, indubitably
written for the booksellers, and helped to
swell the comfortable coffers of the lively
and conceited little '' dark '' whose duties
in office he thus describes : '' Now, Sir, if
the council sits, I am at hand ; wait at an
inch, I warrant you. If any make babling :
' Peace,' say I, ' wot ye where ye are ? ' If
I take a listener or a prier in at the chinks
or at the look-hole, I am by and by in the
bones of him. If a be a friend or such a
one as I like, I make him sit down by me
on a form or a chest ; let the rest walk, a
Laneham had the maggots of phonetic
spelling in his brain, as the title of his
letter just given sufficiently shows. They
need not infect us, as he had also " the
power adays (while the council sits not) to
go and to see things sightworthy and to be
The keen's Progress 15
present at any show or spectacle anywhere
this progress represented unto her High-
The entertainments of a queen's progress
were like the meals of the day — very sub-
stantial affairs and of almost an equal va-
riety. On the very first day her Majesty's
power of endurance was thoroughly put
to the test. Starting at noon from Isling-
ton, a town some miles from Kenilworth,
and hunting by the way, the Queen could
scarcely have reached the privacy of her own
apartments until ten o'clock that night. Be-
tween the tilt-yard where she arrived about
eight and the door of the castle alone, she
ran the gauntlet of the speeches, music and
posturing of ten sibyls, sundry porters, six
trumpeters, Proteus, the Lady of the Lake,
and " a poet in a long ceruleus garment "
who stopped to explain — we may be sure
with all the leisure of poets — a succession of
pillars decorating the bridge and dedicated
1 6 The ^lueen^s Progress
respectively to Sylvanus, Pomona, Ceres,
Bacchus, Mars, and Phoebus, ending with
a lengthy Latin inscription crowning the
In the days that followed, all that princely
expenditure could procure and inventive in-
genuity could devise was lavished to produce
novelty after novelty. There were ridings
and hunting attended with enchanted music
which spake out of trees and hedges ; unex-
pected meetings in the woods with fauns
and savage men, who discoursed elegant al-
legory ; tilting in the tilt-yard and graceful
dancing of lords and ladies in the presence.
There were feats of agility, mock fights
and bear-baiting by day, and masques in the
hall and fireworks on the lake at night.
These last made a deep impression upon
Laneham, who records how " the Altito-
nant displays me his main power ; with a
blaze of burning darts, flying to and fro,
gleams of stars coruscant and hail of fiery
The ^lueeri^s Progress 17
sparks, lightnings of wildfire, a-water and
land, flight and shoot of thunder-bolts, all
with such continuance, terror and vehe-
mence, that the heavens thundered, the
water surged and the earth shook, in such
sort surely, as had we not been assured the
fulminant deity was all but in amity, and
could not otherwise witness his welcoming
unto her Highness, it would have made me
for my part, as hardy as I am, very venge-
The second Sunday of the Queen's stay
was enlivened with a rustic "bride-ale,'' de-
scribed by the dapper little clerk of the coun-
cil chamber door with great gusto and in
much the mood of contemptuous pleasan-
try in which Shakespeare treats his company
of "base mechanicals" in A Midsummer
Night's Dream, " The bridegroom fore-
most, in his father's tawny worsted jacket,
. . . a fair strawn hat with a capital crown,
steeplewise on his head ; a pair of harvest
1 8 The ^lueen^s Progress
gloves on his hands as a sign of good hus-
bandry ; a pen and inkhorn at his back, for
he would be known to be bookish ; lame of
a leg that in his youth was broken at foot-
ball : well beloved yet of his mother that
lent him a new muffler for a napkin that
was tied to his girdle for [fear of] losing.
. . . Then followed his worshipful bride,
led (after the country manner) between two
ancient parishioners, . . , a thirty year old, of
color brown-bay, not very beautiful indeed,
yet marvellously fain at the office because
she heard say she should dance before the
Queen. . . . After this bride, came there two
by two a dozen damsels for bride-maids,
that for favor, attire, for fashion and clean-
liness were as meet for such a bride as a
treen ladle for a porridge-pot.'' Into the ex-
aggerated misadventures of these rustics in
their running at quintain and their morris-
dancing we shall not follow Laneham,
whose jocular impertinence is that of a man
The §lueen's Progress
who is at pains to create the impression
that he has never been nearer to these com-
mon folk than now.
Following the " bride-ale " was a repre-
sentation of the Hock-tide or Hox Tuesday
play, as it was called, by men come over
from the neighboring town of Coventry.
Coventry had been famous throughout the
Middle Ages for its pageantry ; and " mira-
cle'' and "morality'' had flourished there as
nowhere else in England, if we except York
and possibly London. For the Hock-tide
play even a greater antiquity was claimed,
as it was said to commemorate, by a yearly
mock-fight with accompanying "rymez,"
the overthrow of the Danes by the men
of Coventry on Saint Brice's Day, 1012.
This commemoration is known to have
continued from the year after the battle
of Agincourt, 141 6, to the Queen's visit
to Kenilworth, on which latter occasion it
was repeated at Elizabeth's request. These
2 The keen's Progress
last presentations were under the direction
of one Captain Cox, *' an odd man, I pro-
mise you," says Laneham, " by profession
a mason and that right skilfull, very cun-
ning in fence, and hardy as Gawain ; for his
long-sword hangs at his table's end.''
We shall not follow our cicerone in his
account of "an ambrosial banquet," at
which the number of dishes was three hun-
dred and whereof " her Majesty eat smally
or nothing," in his delight over " a swim-
ming mermaid that from top to tail was
an eighteen foot long," or into the intri-
cacies of the speeches which Triton made
or Arion sang in behalf of their master,
''the supreme salsipotent monarch, Nep-
tune, prince of profundities and sovereign
seignior of all lakes." From another source
it is related that Arion, having upon this
occasion contracted a hoarse voice from
sitting so long in the damp on his dolphin,
awaiting the coming of the Queen, he
The ^lueerPs Progress 21
snatched ofF his disguise and swore " that
he was no Arion but e'en honest Harry
Goldingham, who would sing as well as he
could ; whereat the Queen was exceeding
But if the festivities contained triumphs,
there were disappointments as well. " Had
her Highness happened this day to have
comen abroad," says Laneham, " there was
made ready a device of goddesses and
nymphs which, as well for the ingenious
argument as for the well handling of it
in rime and enditing, would undoubtedly
have gained great liking and moved no
less delight." This device was an elaborate
piece of allegory called the Masque of Za-
beta, the work of the notable court poet
Gascoigne, " being prepared and ready —
every actor in his garment — two or three
days together, yet never came to execution.
The cause whereof I cannot attribute to
any other thing," says the author, " than
2 2 The ^lueeri's Progress
to a lack of opportunity and seasonable
weather." Perhaps there was another rea-
son, as a look at Zabeta^ which its author
was careful to have published in the next
year with his account of the festivities in
general, makes plain. The chief interlocu-
tors of this masque are Diana and several
of her nymphs. Mercury, Jove's Messenger,
and Iris, the Messenger of Juno. Diana is
deploring the loss of her most beloved
nymph, Zabeta, and sends out her nymphs
in various directions to look for her. In her
lament she contrives thus to describe the
lost paragon :
My sister first, which Pallas hath to name,
Envyed Zabeta for hyr learned brayne.
My sister Venus feared Zabetaes fame.
Whose gleames of grace hyr beuties blase dyd
Apollo dre3.d to touch an Instrument,
Where my Zabeta chaunst to come in place :
Yea, Mercurie was not so eloquent.
Nor in his words had halfe so good a grace.
Masque of Zabett
\ ■ '
4*' .-;< -: •'
■ -'• ' ■ '7 iS
The ^lueen's Progress 23
My stepdame ^uno^ in hyr glyttering guyse,
Was nothing like so heavenlie to beholde :
Short tale to make, Zabeta was the wight,
On whom to thinke my heart now waxeth cold.
In the midst of her lament. Mercury ar-
rives from Jove to explain how Zabeta has
become a great queen, who, against all the
wiles of Juno, has remained " in constant
vow of chaste unspotted life;'' whereupon
Diana and her train kneel in obeisance be-
fore her Majesty. But now comes the gist
of the matter ; for, Diana and '* Mercury
being departed. Iris cometh down from the
rainbow sent by Juno,"
Who crowned first your comely head with Princely
persuading the Queen's Majesty that she
be not carried away '' with Mercuries filed
speach, nor Dyanaes faire words, but that
she consider all things by proofe, and then
shee shall finde much greater cause to fol-
io we yuno then Dyana.''
2 4 The ^lueeffs Progress
At the end the messenger rises to pro-
phecy of unmistakable import :
Where you now in Princely port
have past one pleasant day,
A world of wealth at wil
you hencefoorth shall enjoy
In wedded state, and therewithal!
holde up from great annoy
The staffe of your estate ;
O Queene, O worthy Queene,
Yet never wight felt perfect blis,
but such as wedded beene.
Possibly considering the strength of all
this allegory and the warmth of Iris's mes-
sage, an intimation that her Majesty pre-
ferred not to be so directly courted in
similitudes had most to do with the non-
performance of Zabeta. That the Queen
should have been permitted long to remain
in ignorance of the nature of this masque,
neither the assiduity of her suitor nor the
vanity of his poet could have brooked.
The progress came to an end and, contrary
The ^lueen^s Progress 25
to the expectations and the fears of many,
my lord of Leicester was still no more than
my lord of Leicester, and Elizabeth had
only passed through another flirtation, one
of the many that had been and were yet
AN ELIZABETHAN WILL
An Elizabethan Will
ON the twelfth of January, 1559,
William Breton " of the parryshe
of saynt Gyles w^out creplegate of
London gentilman" departed this life at his
" capitall mansion house in Redcrostrete."
William Breton was the younger son of
an excellent and ancient family settled in
various midland counties of England. He
had come up to London in youth, and en-
gaged in trade. He had prospered, as his
will abundantly proves; and, in the midst
of the multifarious popular impulses that
struck at the root of feudal tenures and
unclasped even the rigid fingers of mort-
30 An Elizabethan Will
main, Breton had contrived to become a
landed proprietor of no little wealth and
importance ; nay, some of the hereditary
lands of the Bretons had fallen into the
hands of this younger son in a manner cer-
tainly other than that of inheritance. We
have no evidence of the nature of the ven-
tures in which Breton made his money, and
we shall not seek to cloud the memory of
a man whose large testamentary charities
seem to betoken a kind master and a citi-
zen thoughtful of the needs of his indigent
Despite all preconceptions and illusions,
the great age of Elizabeth was hard, liti-
gious, bloody, and corrupt. It was not un-
til the next reign that a philosopher and
a lord chancellor of England came to his
fall by the confessed acceptance of a bribe ;
but Edmund Spenser, the gentlest of poets
and of men, helped put to the sword, save
for a few officers, a band of surrendered
An Elizabethan Will 3^
Spanish invaders, at Smerwick in Ireland,
and the famous Sir Thomas Gresham grew
from modest proportions to the greatest
financier and money-lender of his day on
his travelling expenses and twenty shillings
a day, a miracle which brokerage and com-
pound interest alone will not completely
explain. But thin partitions did divide
merchant adventure from piracy, and the
arms of Sir John Hawkins, " a demi-moor
proper bound with a cord," were acquired
not without much misery and suffering to
people not of Sir John's race or color.
In such a state of society, the prospects
of a clear head linked with not too scru-
pulous a conscience were boundless ; and
William Breton's was not the only case in
which the younger son came in time to
possess the paternal acres whilst his elder
brother pined away in the Fleet, or found
his £/ Dorado in a Spanish dungeon.
The immediate family of William Breton
32 An Elizabethan Will
consisted of his wife Elizabeth, the daugh-
ter of a London merchant and, apparently,
considerably her husband's junior, two sons,
the younger of whom was afterwards to be-
come the graceful poet Nicholas Breton,
and three daughters : all minors at their
father's death. The will is a carefully writ-
ten document, decked out with the flour-
ishes and proverbial piety of the age, and
offering every evidence, from its inordinate
length, that the scrivener was still paid un-
der statute by the number of his words.
By the terms of this document, William
Breton devised certain tenements in Barby-
can and Redcross Street to his wife abso-
lutely, gave her a life estate in his ^*key
and wharflFe called Dyse,'' and bequeathed
her **tenne kyen '' on his farm at Wal-
thamstow in Essex, one hundred pounds
in money, half his "playt,'' her jewels,
apparel, and many other articles. He also
made her the guardian of the children.
An Elizabethan Will 3 3
Beside many special bequests to each, the
elder son received ten tenements in Lon-
don of a considerable yearly rental, while
the younger was granted the two manors
of Burgh in Lincoln and Wykes in Essex.
Among many other bequests, each daughter
was to receive a marriage portion of two
hundred marks (upwards of eight hundred
pounds in present value), and no less than a
thousand pounds were distributed in lega-
cies to servants and in alms to the poor.
Let us reconstruct to imagination's in-
ward eye the home in Redcross Street, its
retinue of family servants, its garniture of
family plate, jewels, gilt bedsteads, velvet
and satin hangings. Stow tells us that "in
Redcross Street on the west side from Saint
Giles Churchyard, be many faire houses
builded outward, with divers allies, turning
into a large plot of ground, of old time
called the Jewes Garden, as being the onely
place appointed them in England wherein
34 An Elizabethan Will
to bury their dead. This plot of ground
... is now turned into faire garden plots
and summer houses for pleasure." We may
imagine the garden of William Breton as
not so large indeed or so ambitious as that
my lord of St. Albans set forth so deli-
ciously in his Rssayes or Counsells Civill and
Morally and yet not wanting in rosemary
and sweet marjoram, briar, stock and gilly-
flowers, '* having a faire allie in the midst,
ranged on both sides with fruit trees, that
you may goe in shade," and prim with
" images cut out in juniper or other garden
stuff." Perhaps our worthy merchant was
not above more practical gardening, and
planted "melons, pompions, gourds, skirets,
turneps and all kinds of salad herbes;" or,
much to that worthy's disgust, set his hon-
est gardener. King, to the care of rare and
curious foreign plants and "simples," "for
delectation sake unto the eie and their odor-
iferous savours unto the nose."
An Elizabethan Will 35
We can scarcely suppose our " capitall
mansion '' to have been constructed of any-
thing better than wood, with clay or plaster
outer panels of red or white. There were
two or three stories, a low roof covered with
thatch or perhaps tile, and windows of
lattice and small diamond panes of Flem-
ish glass. It is likely that all the outbuild-
ings to the brew-house and mews were
under one roof, and, considering the date,
the luxury of a chimney may perhaps be
doubted. ** Within,'' as Lemnius, a con-
temporary Dutch physician, informs us, "all
was strawed with sweet herbes and rushes.
. . . Their nosegays, finely entermingled
wyth sondrie sortes of fragraunte flowres
in their bed-chambers and inner rooms,
with comfortable smell cheered mee up
and entyrely delighted all my sences.''
Furniture was scant, and, besides a few
chairs, and tables of common wood but
spread with " fine naperie," consisted
An Elizabethan Will
chiefly of the standing and truckle beds,
the garniture of each sleeping room, and
of a large number of ornamental cupboards
and chests, elevated on feet, of " sweet, rare,
carven work,'' strengthened with wrought-
iron bands and fastenings. The pantry was
better equipped, and here might be seen
abundance of bright pewter platters, tank-
ards, fine linen, and possibly even some sil-
ver and Venetian glass. All the better rooms
were hung with tapestry or ** arras of Tur-
key work,'' displaying some classical or bib-
lical story ; or, perhaps in the merchant's
household, made of but " right painted
cloth," depicting such bits of worldly wis-
dom as " Beware the mouse, the maggot
and the moth," or " Light gaines make
heavy purses," and hanging sufficiently far
from the wall to protect from damp and
afford some eavesdropping city Polonius a
hiding-place. With Shakespeare's Gremio
might Breton exclaim :
An Elizabethan Will 37
My house within the city
Is richly furnished with plate and gold ;
Basins and ewers ; . . .
My hangings all of Tyrian tapestry ;
In ivory coffers have I stuff 'd my crowns ;
In cypress chests my arras counterpoints,
Costly apparel, tents, and canopies.
Fine linen, Turkey cushions boss'd with pearl,
Valance of Venice gold in needlework,
Pewter and brass and all things that belong
To house or house-keeping.
The larder too was well supplied, for " our
bodies doe crave a little more ample nour-
ishment than the inhabitants of the hotter
regions are accustomed withal/' says Harri-
son. While it is likely that our excellent
merchant had not yet become so infected
with foreign customs as to employ *' musi-
call-headed Frenchmen and strangers '' as
his cooks, he none the less indulged in " not
onely beefe, mutton, veale, lambe,kid, porke,
conie, capon, pig or so manie of these as
the season yieldeth, but also some portion
3 8 An Elizabethan Will
of the red or fallow deere, beside great va-
rietie of fish and wild foule, and thereunto
other delicates wherein the sweet hand of
the Portingale is not wanting." In seasons
of entertainment too there were **geliffes of
all colours mixed with a varietie in represen-
tation of sundrie floures, beastes, foules and
fruits, and thereunto marchpanes wrought
with no small curiositie, marmilats, codinacs
and sundrie outlandish confections." In the
case before us, the "tenne kyen " at Wal-
thamstow, willed to Elizabeth Breton, sug-
gest rural plenty, and doubtless more than
one family servant was employed to con-
vey game and poultry from the Essex farm
to Redcross Street or in the exchange of
courtesies with kinsfolk or neighbors.
It was on his wines, however, that the
merchant chiefly prided himself; and no
less than fifty-six kinds of light wines and
thirty of strong (from FalstafF's " excellent
sherris" to the "small wines" of Gascony)
An Elizabethan Will 39
are "accompted of bicause of their strength
and valure/' For every-day use the national
drink was beer, made in monthly brewings
by each matron and her maids, and varying
in strength and excellence with the state
and purse of the family.
We may picture to ourselves a wholesome
and decorous family life, in which piety and
thrift stood for the chiefest household gods.
It speaks not a little for the trust which
the old merchant reposed in his young wife,
that we find him providing that the lega-
cies to his daughters shall become void if
either should marry without her mother's
Unfortunately this trust seems not to have
been very wisely bestowed. For some few
years after her husband's death, Elizabeth
Breton took to herself a new spouse in the
person of Master George Gascoigne. The
marriage was purely a matter of conven-
ience. Gascoigne was handsome, dashing,
40 An Elizabethan Will
well-born, and penniless ; he had been by
turns a student, a courtier, and a man about
town. Of late, he had gained a pretty repu-
tation as a poet. It was even whispered —
and what could be a stronger recommenda-
tion to the young city widow — that his
name had been coupled in gossip at Court
with the names of certain high-born ladies.
At all events, in the bulky budget of the
courtier's love poems, no sonnet can be
found addressed to Elizabeth Breton. The
citizen's young widow, comfortably en-
sconced in her "capitall mansion house in
Redcrostrete," with the rents of a score of
tenements and farms, was a tempting bait
to the impoverished courtier with his re-
cent experiences of a debtors' prison. Her
children could offer no resistance, and the
executors might prove not unmanageable.
Possibly in view of the doubt cast on her
first husband's gentility through his engag-
ing in trade, the young widow was equally
An Elizabethan Will 41
prone to the alliance, as it was one with a
veritable gentleman, whose hands at least
had never been sullied with the getting,
much less with the keeping of gold.
From the Diary of a Resident of London^
under date of September, 1562, we glean
the following : " The sam day at nyght
betwyn viii and ix was a grett fray in Red-
crossestret betwyn ii gentyllmen and ther
men, for they dyd both mare [arrange to
marry] one woman, and dyvers wher hurtt ;
thes wher there names. Master Boysse
[Bowes] and Master Gaskyn [Gascoigne]
gentyllmen." There is no proof of the
identity of the poet with this Gascoigne,
or of the widow Breton with the cause of
this brawl. But aside from the fact that
the " resident's " orthography will warrant
any assumption, the time, the place, the
characters and status of both parties make
the supposition of identity colorable, and
afford us a vivid illustration of the manners
42 An Elizabethan Will
of the day, in which the hot blood that
prompts to immediate personal encounter
had not yet been cooled by the diabolic
etiquette of the modern duel. Surely we
can forgive the infatuation of the excellent
city matron — if infatuation there really was
— when so handsome and so well-born a
gallant came from Westminster to pay her
honorable court and ventured his life in
defence of her honor.
Two years after the solemnization of this
marriage, a jury at Guildhall entered into
an enquiry before the Lord Mayor, the ap-
parent object of which was the protection
of William Breton's property against his
widow and her new husband. We do not
know what became of this suit. Perhaps it
was amicably settled.
Too much is not to be expected from
such a marriage ; though there is little ex-
cept its social disparity to guide conjecture.
Elizabeth probably lived at Walthamstow,
An Elizabethan Will 43
save for an occasional jaunt to town or visit
among her city kinsfolk. Gascoigne, when
not abroad in the wars or dancing attend-
ance on the royal progresses, was busy with
quill and inkhorn inditing sonnets to the
Queen's ladies-in-waiting or concocting the
bitter moral reflections and apothegms of
the Steele Glas in an agony of repentance at
the time of his " youth misspent." Eliza-
beth's kinsfolk called her " Madam ; " and,
on passing her in the street, gave her the
wall ; the poet thenceforth at least escaped
the debtors' jail and influenced his younger
stepson, Nicholas Breton, to a gentlemanly
Soon after, Gascoigne went abroad as an
adventurer in the Dutch wars, whither we
need not follow him. As to Elizabeth Gas-
coigne, we are at perfect liberty. She may
have been an English Xantippe for aught
we know, driving a not very philosophical
Socrates into unmerited exile. Quite as pos-
44 An Elizabethan Will
sibly she may have been a very Penelope,
dwelling meekly on her farm with her five
children and besought in marriage for her
" tenne kyen " by every eligible suitor in
Essex. In either case her Ulysses returned,
not without some damage at the hands of
the sirens, and we find him restored to
court favor, writing much repentant prose,
and residing at Walthamstow till within a
short time before his death.
We have thus before us three types of
Elizabethan life, all represented with cease-
less iteration and variety in the comedies
of the age. The rakish, well-born spend-
thrift has been a stock hero of the stage,
time out of mind. The Elizabethan variety,
however, claims a distinction that raises
him out of the common category of the
Aimwells and Charles Surfaces to a position
of his own. There is a naivete about the
sinning of the Elizabethan scapegrace that
almost justifies palliation. He is often very
An Elizabethan Will 45
naughty, but then he always cries peccavi,
and his after-qualms of conscience are some-
times ludicrously at variance with the real
magnitude of his offences.
Scarcely less familiar is the figure of the
city maid or widow, her head full of the
romances of a grand alliance, who delights
to exclaim : " Though my father be a low-
capped tradesman, yet I must be a lady ;
and I praise God my mother must call
me Madam/' The widow Breton was less
unfortunate than one of these infatuates,
who, having first signed away her settle-
ment, drove off to the country in search of
her husband's castle and an estate which
with its appurtenances existed only in that
worthy's fertile imagination. It is consol-
ing to know that an even-handed play-
wright meted out poetical Nemesis to this
wretch. He started on a voyage to Virginia
with his ill-gotten wealth, but, wrecked in-
gloriously on the Isle of Dogs, was incon-
46 An Elizabethan Will
tinently seized and clapped into jail by the
Lastly, Touchstone, the goldsmith of
Eastward Hoe! is William Breton with a
larger infusion of the bourgeois; Eyre of
T^he Shoemakers Holiday represents the more
jovial and homely character of a trades-
man who has raised himself from the low-
est round of the ladder by sheer mother
wit. Bassanio's Antonio himself, whose no-
ble want of the tradesman's knack shows
him a merchant made, not born, is again a
deviation to a higher class, the merchant
adventurer. In all, the type consists of the
sturdy, unimaginative Englishman, with an
innate proclivity for money-getting, and
his chief joy in his reputation for rectitude,
his home, and the substantial comforts of
life. The Elizabethan merchant was not
essentially different from the English mer-
chant of to-day, save that he indulged when
he could in the slave-trade and displayed a
An Elizabethan Will 47
decided penchant for piracy on the high
seas. Shifting social conditions, ineffectu-
ally stringent laws against usury, and the
pernicious royal grants of monopoly go far
to explain the fact that, amongst the Eliza-
bethans, Mercury was still the tutelary god
of merchants and of thieves ; while the
fervid Puritanism that devoutly believed it
a service to God to spoil the tents of the
children of Abimelech, together with the
spirit of retaliation which the horrors of
the Inquisition righteously inspired, is am-
ply sufficient to transmute those larger ad-
venturers, the Grenvilles and the Gilberts,
the Hawkinses and the Drakes, from the
gross metal of buccaneers into the gold of
THE sixteenth century was the hey-
day of the adventurer. He infested
every station of life, hectoring hke
Bobadil, resorting v^ith needy gallants to
Paul's Walk, the centre aisle of the cathe-
dral, there to pick up the news of the day
and perchance an acquaintance whose well-
lined purse might discharge the expense of
an '* ordinary,'' the Elizabethan table d'hote ^
for both ; now pressing into the presence,
or attending at the very door of the privy
council, with secret information treacher-
ously gleaned and a sword and a lying
5 2 "Thomas Stucley
tongue for sale to the highest bidder. The
air was full of projects, from Dr. Dee's
plan to transmute pewter platters and ale
tankards into gold to the capture of Span-
ish galleons laden with treasure and the
founding of enduring empires beyond the
seas. The Queen herself was a sharer in
many a venture of trade and some of
plunder ; and the protection which many a
red-handed marauder of the sea received
from her Majesty was the mingled product
of the royal admiration for his prowess and
daring and an eager desire to participate in
the spoils. Prentices standing on the cob-
ble-stones of inn-yards craned their necks
in the crowd to see rude theatrical repre-
sentations of Whittington who, by his cat
and the favor of the Emperor of Morocco,
had risen to the acme of civic ambition,
the lord mayoralty of the City of London.
Rude scenes of noise and turmoil displayed
the adventures of those four famous English
Gentleman Adventurer 5 3
prentices, "sons of the old Earlof Bulloign/'
who after surmounting untold perils meet
their father at the siege of Jerusalem and
obtain, each of them, by the capture of the
sacred city, a royal crown and a princely
bride. Indeed the imaginations of poets
scarcely exceed the actual experiences of
many Englishmen at home and abroad, —
their sailings on strange seas, their traversing
of stranger lands, their hardships and perils,
their encounters and hairbreadth escapes.
Amongst the host of Elizabethan adven-
turers there was none more daring, more
unscrupulous, and more uniformly success-
ful than Thomas Stucley, whom the Pope
and the Spanish King afterwards dignified
with the title " Duke of Ireland.'' Stucley
was the third son of a small baronet of Dev-
onshire, the county that gave to England
Raleigh, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, Hawkins,
and so many other " brave navigators.''
Stucley's education in war — he seems to
54 'Thomas Stucley
have had Httle other education — dates
back to the last years of the reign of Henry
the Eighth, under the Duke of Suffolk.
Later, Stucley figures as one of the retainers
of the Protector Somerset, in the failure of
whose plans he was too deeply compromised
to remain in England. He offered his ser-
vices to Henry the Second of France, who
shortly became so attached to the young
Englishman that he designated him in a
letter to King Edward, ** our very dear and
beloved son, brother, cousin, gossip and
ally," and besought the English King to
take Stucley back into his royal favor. The
warmth of this recommendation is explained
by the fact that Stucley was really a spy in
the pay of France. With the thrift of his
kind, he soon turned his equivocal position
to advantage on both sides and maintained
himself in a nicely adjusted equilibrium, at
once a servant of the King of France and
the loyal subject of Edward of England.
Gentleman Adventurer 55
This could not last, and before long Stucley
found himself lodged in the Tower for re-
porting of the French King what the French
King could never allow that he could pos-
sibly have said. From the Tower Stucley
was delivered by the accession of Queen
Into the checkered career of Stucley for
the next few years we need not pry. On the
personal recommendation of Queen Mary
he was received into the service of the
Emperor. About this time Stucley is de-
scribed as " commonly pretending himself
to be a man of value and livelihood, when
in truth he never had in his own right
one foot of land, [but lived by] borrow-
ing in every place and paying nowhere.''
Color is lent this, though the statement
of an enemy, by the fact that, wishing to
return to England in the train of the Duke
of Saxony, Stucley wrote to the Queen be-
seeching that he might be " exempted from
56 Thomas Stucley
all danger and arrest by reason of my debts : "
a favor which he seems to have obtained.
Like most spendthrifts, Stucley was gener-
ous with money and was always a popular
captain and master. He is reported to have
gained the love of his followers by bounti-
ful largesses, and he did not forget his kin
in the days of his good fortune. No pro-
ject was too great or too mad for his under-
taking, and his genuine knowledge of war,
his success in the management of men, his
daring and true bravery in action, raised
him into heroic stature on the field of
battle or in the intricacies of a campaign.
Stucley was not only a spendthrift and a
soldier of fortune, he was likewise a most
egregious braggart, boasting of his large
estate, of his intimacy with princes, his own
prowess, his magnificence. It must have
been a sight long to be remembered to see
Stucley ruffling it at Court with a gorgeous
retinue, sufficient in number and costliness
of attire to wait upon an earl. His arrogance
was such that, taken with his notorious
dare-devil courage, few men cared to cross
his path. A characteristic story is related of
Stucley, come to take leave of the Queen on
the eve of his departure on an expedition
the object of which was a much vaunted
conquest of Florida. Rallying him on his
grand manners and great importance, her
Majesty finally " demanded him pleasantly
whether he would remember her when
settled in his kingdom. * Yes,' saith he,
* and write unto you also.' * And what style
wilt thou use?' *To my loving sister, as
one prince writes unto another,' " was the
This story, with the remarkable freedom
of Stucley's intercourse with princes, their
evident consideration of him, and the many
favors which he seems only to have had to
ask to receive at their hands, led to the sur-
mise that Stucley may have been related
58 Thomas Stucky
to Henry the Eighth, as Falconbridge was
related to Richard Coeur de Lion in Shake-
speare's King 'John, The mere rumor of
such a thing would account for Stucley's
welcome to foreign courts, his arrogance
and his popularity. It is but fair to state,
however, that, swaggerer and braggart that
Stucley was, he never claimed royal blood,
nor did his enemies ever attaint his birth.
Before he was cold in his grave he had
become one of the heroes of popular folk-
lore, celebrated in ballads and represented
on the stage. Whence it happens that many
of the facts of his life have been grossly
distorted by a kind of romantic refraction.
Amongst the various means which Stuc-
ley practised to recoup his periodically
battered fortunes was the usual one of a
rich marriage. His enemies reported that
he made more than one such, and we
learn that, in accord with the businesslike
methods which attended the arrangement
of such matters in his age, Stucley appears
more than once a party to such negotia-
tions. When well on in his career he con-
trived to marry the young granddaughter
and heiress of Alderman Sir Thomas Curtis.
" By this marriage," we are told, " he got
so good an estate as might have qualified a
moderate mind to have lived bountifully
and in great esteem, equal to the chief of
his house." As it was, the unhappy girl's
fortune was dissipated in a few months.
The anonymous author of the play entitled
Sir Thomas Stucley makes this marriage the
starting-point of the adventures of his hero,
and gives us a clear presentation of a de-
termined and infatuated girl overcoming
the reluctance of her prudent parents to
yield a consent to her marriage with a
young gallant whom they distrust but can
learn little about. Married, and his wife's
dower and jewels in his hands, the Stuc-
ley of the play in a capital scene pays his
6o Thomas Stucley
thronging, cringing creditors, equips a
company of soldiers for his sovereign's ser-
vice, and declares to his weeping v^ife :
It is not chambering,
Now I have beauty to be dallying with,
Nor pampering of myself, . . .
Now I have got a little worldly pelf.
That is the end or levels of my thought.
I must have honor; honor is the thing
Stucley doth thirst for, and to climb the mount
Where she is seated ; gold shall be my footstool.
The connection of these events belongs
to the higher logic which dominates the
doings of the drama. As to their actual
sequence we have no knowledge, so intri-
cate and so interwoven were all the projects
and doings of this active and enterprising
adventurer. Stucley appears to have been
one of the first who succeeded in gaining
Queen Elizabeth's participancy in the pro-
fitable trade of buccaneering. It was as
early as 1563 that he formed the design of
Gentleman Adventurer 6i
peopling Florida. *' Stucley [was one]/'
says Fuller, " whose spirit was of so high a
strain that it vilified subjection (though in
the highest and chiefest degree) as con-
temptible, aiming as high as the moon, at
not less than sovereignty."
On the high seas with " five good ships
and a pinnace, with 2000 weight of corn-
powder, and 100 curriers . . . besides artil-
lery to the value of ^120," Stucley forgot
all about Florida and spent his time, much
to his content, in preying upon French and
Spanish commerce, although England was
at the moment ostensibly at peace with
both countries. Sir Thomas Chaloner, Eliz-
abeth's ambassador, wrote to Cecil from
Madrid: "Stucley's piracies are much railed
at here on all parts. I hang down my head
with shame enough. Alas, though it cost
the Queen roundly, let him for honor's
sake be fetched in. These pardons to such
folks as be hostes humani generis I like not."
62 'Thomas Stucley
Whether it was " for honor's sake/' or be-
cause the royal share in the profits was not
sufficiently large, Elizabeth gave Sir Peter
Carew, one of Stucley's numerous cousins,
a commission to apprehend all pirates in
the Irish seas. Sir Peter found one hulk of
Stucley's in Cork harbor, and confiscated it.
He also managed a little skirmish with a
party of pirates who had fortified themselves
in a castle, but was repulsed. Stucley having
arranged to have his latest victim, a Flem-
ish merchant, affirm before the mayor of
Kinsale that " he had compounded frankly
and freely with Stucley, without any com-
pulsion or fear," that gentleman was not
further molested, though he never suc-
ceeded thereafter in regaining the favor
of his Queen. Perhaps Stucley's promises
were in too great disparity contrasted with
his achievements. A compassionate regard
for failure was not amongst the virtues
of Elizabeth ; and Stucley, judged by the
Gentleman Adventurer 63
later golden standards of Hawkins and
Drake, was for the nonce an unsuccessful
Prior to the undertaking of these naval
adventures, Stucley had contrived to form
an intimacy with the celebrated Shane
O'Neill, who had come to the English
Court with " a train of Kerns and Gallow-
glasses, clothed in linen kilts dyed with
saffron." On his return Shane, writing to
Elizabeth, declared : " Many of the nobles,
magnates, and gentlemen of that kingdom
[Scotland] treated me kindly and ingenu-
ously, and namely one of your realm. Mas-
ter Thomas Stucley, entertained me with
his whole heart, and with all the favor he
could. But I perceived that his whole inten-
tion, and the benevolence he showed me,
tended to this — to show me the magnifi-
cence and the honor of your Majesty and
your realm." If the unsophisticated Irish
chief was right in the last surmise, we may
64 "Thomas Stucley
feel sure that Stucley was well paid for his
pains. Stucley's acquaintance with Shane
O'Neill, though he was a dangerous and
successful enemy of the English in Ireland,
seems to have proved valuable after the fail-
ure of his inroads upon the commerce of
France and Spain. For we find Stucley soon
after recommended by the Earls of Pem-
broke and Leicester, as well as by Cecil, to
the service of Sir Henry Sidney, Deputy of
Ireland, and employed by the last in several
negotiations with Shane. Here again we
must forbear to follow our clever adventurer
too closely lest we become involved in that
tangled labyrinth of treachery, bloodshed,
injustice, and necessary and unnecessary
tyranny which characterized the Tudor
relations with Ireland. It appears that al-
though Stucley gained the confidence and
liking of Sidney, the latter was unable to
obtain for him at the royal hands any post
in the employ of the government such as
Gentleman Adventurer 65
seemed to Stucley at all commensurate with
his talents. At length, apparently through
a private feud, Stucley was committed a
close prisoner to Dublin Castle, charged
with using coarse language concerning the
Queen and with levying war against her.
It was then that he fell into the plot of the
Catholic clergy and nobility of Ireland by
which the crown of Ireland was to be of-
fered to the brother of the King of Spain,
Don John of Austria, and Ireland was to be
separated forever from England. From this
time forth the allegiance of Stucley was to
the Roman Church, to Mary Stuart, and to
In Spain Stucley was well received, given
large gifts of money, set up in a handsome
establishment with thirty gentlemen to at-
tend upon him, and the charges of all de-
frayed by the King. He was welcomed
in due time to Court and splendidly enter-
tained. He was knighted by Philip and
inducted into the Spanish order of reli-
gious knights, that of Calatrava. Ever urg-
ing his plan for the conquest of Ireland,
begging for ships to put to sea and prey
upon English commerce, at jealousies with
other renegades like himself, Stucley wore
himself out, as did many a better man, in
awaiting the decision and action of Philip,
who continued leisurely to spin his toils
unguided by advice and undeterred by the
recurrent failure that comes to him that is
ever too late. Amongst the Spaniards Stuc-
ley was popularly known as the " Duke of
Ireland,'' and he was as loud in his boasts
of his own importance as he was foul in
the calumnies which he spread of Queen
Elizabeth and her Court. Into the latter
we need not enquire. When asked by the
Spanish secretary, ^ayas, to give a list of
the lands, his possessions in Ireland, of
which the Queen had deprived him, Stucley
mentioned "The castle and town of Wex-
ford, and the whole county ; the abbey of
Inniscorthy and that country of mosses,
and seven or eight farms worth a thousand
marks a year. The castle of Ferel and
Kinsale belonging to it and the house of
Lafylond and the Kavanagh country . . .
the castle of Carlow and that whole county.
The ancient kingdom of Leinster, for which
he had paid twenty-two hundred pounds
in one day, but which was taken from him
because he was a Catholic and loved and
commended the King of Spain." Upon
another occasion he declared : " For my
part I hate an Englishman as I hate a dog;
for if ever I be betrayed, I shall be betrayed
by them. But Ireland is the country that I
and my child must stick to ; for I must live
by them and they by me. For there will I
build a fair Abbey, and have in it twenty-
four friars, and one of them to pray for me
every hour of the day and night. And there
will I be buried."
Wearied with dancing attendance on the
Spanish Court, Stucley sought and, after the
usual delay, obtained a warrant with a laud-
atory recommendation from Philip, to go
to Rome, where he was received with great
honor by Pope Pius the Fifth. While in
Rome Stucley held long consultations with
the Pope on the state of religion, and of-
fered among other things "to conquer Ire-
land with 3000 men and to burn the ships
in the Thames, with a detachment of two
ships and two armed zebras under one of
But the Pope and Philip were otherwise
busied at the moment, and Stucley was not
the man to remain idle when fighting was
to be had. It seems that Stucley was cap-
tain of three galleys under Don John at the
battle of Lepanto, October 7, 1571, and
that he acquitted himself with his usual
bravery in that celebrated defeat of the
Turk. But though Stucley lost none of the
Gentleman Adventurer 69
Spanish King's favor, the plot against Ire-
land failed and, with the death of Pius the
Fifth, Philip was left to intrigue, vacillate,
and postpone to his heart's content and to
the perfect security of his enemies. In vain
Stucley undertook to defend the narrow seas
against the navies of Elizabeth, in vain he
tried to instruct the Spaniards how " to
frame their ships in our manner/' Stucley
was living like a prince at this time. A
memorandum preserved at Madrid relates :
^* The King hath given to Thomas Stucley
at times from his first coming into Spain
in 1570 to this time of August 1574, and
for keeping his house at Madrid . . . the
whole sum of 27,576 ducats," a sum the
purchasing value of which at that time
must have represented nearly the same num-
ber of pounds sterling to-day. But Philip
was not the only source of Stucley's reve-
nues and honors. From a proclamation
which he afterwards made it appears that
yo "Thomas Stucley
Stucley now flourished under the titles
" Baron of Ross and Idron, Viscount of
Morough and Kenshlagh, Earl of Wexford
and Catherlough, Marquess of Leinster and
General of our most Holy Father, Pope
Gregory the Thirteenth/' That Stucley
was regarded by the English government as
the head and front of all conspiracies is
proved by the diligence with which his
movements were reported to Cecil and
Walsingham, and the frequency of his name
in the reports of the time.
At length in 1578 an expedition under
the command of Stucley was actually fitted
out from Civita Vecchia, the purpose of
which was to invade Ireland. Stucley sailed
to Cadiz and thence to Lisbon, where he
met King Sebastian of Portugal prepar-
ing for a Quixotic expedition into Africa.
Sebastian was a religious zealot in whose
heart the forgotten fires of the Crusades
still burned. Surrounded by the incense
Gentleman Adventurer 7^
and adulation of priests, he had come to
beHeve in himself as " an ideal knight,
chaste and strong,'' before whose victorious
lance the infidel must fall. Unfortunately
Sebastian as a military commander was in-
competency itself. Sebastian's uncle, the
astute King of Spain, recognized the situa-
tion in its true light, and when Sebastian
undertook to interfere in a petty war
amongst the Mahometans of Morocco, re-
fused him assistance, although the Pope
hallowed his banners and gave him the
sanction and blessing of the Church. How
Stucley could have been induced to take a
part in so mad an expedition it is bootless
to enquire. His chances of success in his
long-cherished scheme for the invasion of
Ireland were not promising, he had raised
but a thousand of the five thousand men
needed. Perhaps he joined Sebastian on the
latter's promise to return his favor after the
conquest of Morocco; perhaps Philip and
72 Thomas Stucley
the Pope were not sorry thus to rid them-
selves of a man who had become a consider-
able charge upon them both, and whom it
was as dangerous to encourage as it was
difficult to rebuff.
Contemporary report, tradition, ballads,
and dramas are at some variance as to the
precise circumstances of Stucley's death,
some telling how he fell early in the day
at the battle of Alcazar, others relating that
he died by the treacherous hands of his
own troop of Italian soldiers, in their de-
spair that the battle was lost. All are agreed
that he fell valiantly as became so notable
a commander. Burghley thus wrote of
Stucley after his death : " Of this man might
be written whole volumes to paint out the
life of a man in the highest degree of vain-
glory, prodigality, falsehood, and vile and
filthy conversation of life, and altogether
without faith, conscience, or religion. And
yet this man was he whom the rebels . . .
and all other fugitives being conversant at
Rome did hang all their hope upon to have
their malicious purposes performed to the
ruin of the Queen their sovereign and their
native country. But the end thereof fell
out by God's ordinance, as by this traitor
neither her Majesty nor her subjects re-
ceived any damage, neither yet could any
person in England or Ireland become owner
of one foot of land by his death. Neither
dukedoms, marquisates or lordships was it
possible for her Majesty to benefit any per-
son with the forfeitures thereof. But if his
death did profit any, it was to the King
of Spain and the Pope, by determination of
their pensions, although it was credibly re-
ported that the King of Spain, by advice of
some of his wise counsellors, had discharged
him of all pensions and entertainments and
gave him passage to Rome."
AN OLD-TIME FRIENDSHIP
An Old- Time Friendship
IN Saint Mary's, the ancient collegiate
church of the town of Warwick, in a
room once the chapter-house of the
dean and canons, and apart from the sepul-
chral pomp and recumbent imagery of
Beauchamp Chapel, there is a single tomb
of black and white marble, somewhat
sombre and hearse-like in appearance, al-
though of a befitting dignity. On it lies a
sword, now rusted into two pieces, and a
helmet, dust covered and fallen away with
age. This tomb was planned and completed
under the direction of its occupant in his
lifetime ; for he was then the owner of
7 8 An Old-Time Friendship
Warwick Castle and of the neighboring
demesne. On a ledge of the table-like
lower part of this tomb and running about
it is this inscription :
SERVANT TO QUEENE ELIZABETH
CONCELLER TO KING JAMES
FREND TO SIR PHILIP SIDNEY
Born four years before Elizabeth ascended
the throne, entered at Shrewsbury School
with Philip Sidney in the year of the birth
of Shakespeare, Greville lived on into the
reign of King Charles, and befriended the
youthful Davenant, an older contemporary
of Dryden. Greville's was a remarkable
range of life. Scarcely less remarkable, too,
were his relations with two of the four
sovereigns under whom he lived, his friend-
ships among "great ones," and his patron-
age of the learned. Greville in his youth
Sir Fulke Grevi/le, Lord Brooke
An Old-Time Friendship 79
had travelled, like Sidney, with the reformer
Languet ; he had entertained that rare spirit
Giordano Bruno at his own table ; and con-
versed on terms of equality with William
the Silent upon the political state of Eu-
rope. In the reign of James, Greville was
created a baron under title of Lord Brooke
of Beauchamp Court, and served the state
as a privy councillor and as Chancellor of the
Exchequer. But his greatest glory was under
Elizabeth, who appears to have treated him
exceedingly well, despite the description of
her as a monarch who " was never profuse
in the delivering out of her treasure, but
paid many and most of her servants part in
money and the rest with grace . . . leaving
the arrear of recompence due to their merit
to her great successor.'' Sir Robert Naunton,
who wrote these words in an entertaining
and gossipy book entitled Fragmenta Regalia
or Observations on the late ^een Elizabeth^ her
Times and Favorites, declares : "Sir Fulke
8o An Old-Time Friendship
Greville had no mean place in her favor,
neither did he hold it for any short term ;
for if I be not deceived, he had the longest
lease and the smoothest time without rub
of any of her favorites." Elsewhere the
same authority informs us : " Sir Fulke
Greville had much and private access to
Queen Elizabeth, which he used honorably,
and did many men good."
The few that remember the name of
Greville or connect that name in any wise
with literature may recall the clever note
which Charles Lamb appended to his selec-
tions from Greville's extraordinary dramas
Alaham and Mustapha. ^^ These two tra-
gedies of Lord Brooke might with more
propriety have been termed political trea-
tises, than plays. Their author has strangely
contrived to make passion, character and
interest of the highest order subservient to
the expression of state dogma and mysteries.
He is nine parts Machiavel and Tacitus,
An Old-Time Friendship 8i
for one part Sophocles or Seneca. In this
writer's estimate of the faculties of his own
mind, the understanding must have held
a most tyrannical preeminence. Whether
we look into his plays or his most passion-
ate love-poems, we shall find all frozen
and made frigid with intellect. The finest
movements of the human heart, the ut-
most grandeur of which the soul is capable,
are essentially comprised in the actions and
speeches of Caslica and Camena. Shake-
speare, who seems to have had a peculiar
delight in contemplating womanly perfec-
tion, whom for his many sweet images of
female excellence all women are in an es-
pecial manner bound to love, has not raised
the ideal of the female character higher
than Lord Brooke in these two women has
done. But it requires a study equivalent
to the learning of a new language to un-
derstand their meaning when they speak."
Just though all this is, there is another light
82 An Old-Time Friendship
by which to view this interesting man, by
which he appears not wholly " a being of
pure intellect/' but as one in whom a warm
and enthusiastic youthful friendship, ideal-
ized by the flight of years, seems to have
come to fill the place of those nearer family
ties in which the majority of men find their
pleasure and solace.
The friendships of literature are of deep
interest, whether the twin stars shine with
independent brightness, revolve one about
the other like a satellite about its planet as
did Boswell about his Johnson, or come
to be resolved by the telescope of critical
scholarship into a constellation of lumina-
ries as the writers of the group of plays
still described as those of Beaumont and
Fletcher. Not less interesting is the capa-
city for worship than the hero whose deeds
and perfections inspire adoration. A capa-
city for worship implies an intuitive recog-
nition of worth, forgetfulness of self, and an
An Old-Time Friendship 83
aspiring ideality of mind, which the hero is
apt to fall far short in.
Among the literary remains of Fulke
Greville, which comprise, besides the dra-
mas just mentioned, several difficult trea-
tises in verse on government and some love
poetry of rare and peculiar excellence, is
T^he Life of the Renowned Sir Philip Sidney,
This Life is not so much a biography as a
eulogy, combining an " account of [Sid-
ney's] principal actions, counsels, designs
and death." The work was intended by the
author to form an introduction to his other
writings, and digresses into reminiscence of
" the maxims and policies used by Queen
Elizabeth in her government " and into her
relations with other states. The literary
activities of a Chancellor of the Exchequer
in the days of King James were not with-
out their lets and hindrances. Greville had
proposed soon after Elizabeth's death to
write a full account of her reign, and few
84 An Old-Time Friendship
men could have been found better fitted for
the task. But applying to Secretary Cecil
for " his favor to peruse all obsolete records
of the council-chest from those times to
these as he in his wisdom should think
fit/' he was first cordially received, though
at last put off with the excuse that Cecil
" durst not presume to let the council-
chest lie open to any man living without
his Majesty's knowledge and approbation."
This answer was doubtless inevitable on
Cecil's hearing Greville's affirmation that
he " conceived a historian was bound to tell
nothing but the truth." There is some-
thing touching in the sight of this gray-
haired man of the world sitting down to
express in the studied eloquence of old age
the images of '* this unmatchable Queen
and woman," as he calls Elizabeth, and of
his boyhood's friendship with Sidney, the
paragon of a fresher age.
In Greville's own words : " The differ-
An Old-Time Friendship
ence which I have found between times,
and consequently the changes of life into
which their natural vicissitudes do violently
carry men, as they have made deep fur-
rows of impression into my heart, so the
same heavy wheels caused me to retire my
thoughts from free traffic with the world,
and rather seek comfortable ease or em-
ployment in the safe memory of dead men,
than disquiet in a doubtful conversation
amongst the living. Which I ingenuously
confess to be one chief motive of dedicat-
ing these exercises of my youth to that
worthy. Sir Philip Sidney, so long since de-
parted." Deep affection amounting almost
to veneration for the memory of his friend
breathes in these pages. " Though I lived
with him and knew him from a child," he
says, in one place, " yet I never knew him
other than a man : with such steadfastness
of mind, lovely and familiar gravity, as
carried grace and reverence above greater
86 An Old-Time Friendship
years. His talk ever of knowledge, and his
very play tending to enrich his mind : so
as even his teachers found something in
him to observe and learn, above that which
they had read or taught/' Elsewhere he
summarizes the best in Sidney in these
words : ** His very ways in the world did
generally add reputation to his Prince and
country, by restoring amongst us the an-
cient majesty of noble and true dealing ;
as a manly wisdom that can no more be
weighed down by any effeminate craft, than
Hercules could be overcome by that con-
temptible army of dwarfs. And this was it
which, I profess, I loved dearly in him, and
still shall be glad to honor in the good
men of this time : I mean that his heart
and tongue went both one way, and so
with every one that went with the truth ;
as knowing no other kindred, party or
end. Above all, he made the religion he
professed the firm basis of his life." It was
An Old-Time Friendship
with such an ideal as this before him that
Greville wrote of his youth's friendship,
and it is this sweet but dignified adoration
of a man who truly merited the mourn-
ing and remembrance of a nation, that has
given an imperishable value to this work.
In the youth of Sidney and Greville,
the graces of chivalry still lingered. Men
had come to recognize that in war the age
of personal prowess was a thing of the
past, and that gunpowder had reduced the
man-at-arms in his panoply of armor to
an anachronism. At Court, however, tilt-
ing continued to form part of "shews"
and ceremonials ; and, on each return of
the Queen's coronation day, a champion,
mounted and in full armor, appeared in the
lists, the heralds announcing his challenge
to defend and uphold the title and right of
" Elizabeth, by the grace of God, Queen
of England, France and Ireland and of
Virginia." Sidney and Greville were both
An Old-Time Friendship
notable knights, and at Whitsuntide, 1581,
were among the chief challengers in a tour-
ney given in honor of the commissioners
from the French King, sent to negotiate
Elizabeth's marriage with the Duke of
Anjou. From a contemporary account of
these events, we have the following descrip-
tion : " Then proceeded Master Philip Sid-
ney in very sumptuous manner, with armor
part blue and the rest gilt and engraven :
with four spare horses having caparisons and
furniture very rich and costly, as some of
cloth of gold embroidered with pearl . . .
very richly and cunningly wrought. He
had four pages that rode on his four spare
horses, who had cassock hats and Venetian
hose all of cloth of silver laid with gold
lace, and hats of the same with gold bands
and white feathers. . . . Then had he
thirty gentlemen and yeomen and four
trumpeters, who were all in cassock coats
and Venetian hose of yellow velvet laid with
An Old-Time Friendship 89
silver lace, yellow caps with silver bands
and white feathers. . . . Then came Mas-
ter Fulke Greville in gilt armor with rich
caparisons and furniture, having four spare
horses with four pages upon them, and
four trumpeters sounding before him, and
a twenty gentlemen and yeomen attend-
ing upon him." There follows a minute
description of the hose, caps, and feathers
of Greville's attendants, which the reader
may be spared. Suffice it to tell that the
challengers were successful, and Sidney, his
friend beside him, in the presence of his
Queen and of his beloved, must have passed
in that day one of the happiest of his life.
Here is a sonnet that Sidney has left us on
this occasion :
Having this day, my horse, my hand, my lance
Guided so well that I obtained the prize,
Both by the judgement of the English eyes ;
And of some sent by that sweet enemie, France^
Horsemen, my skill in horsemanship advance :
9° An Old-Time Friendship
Towne-folkes, my strength ; a daintier Judge applies
His praise to sleight, which from good use doth rise ;
Some lucky wits impute it but to chance ;
Others, because of both sides I doe take
My bloud from them who did excel in this.
Think Nature me a man of armes did make.
How farre they shot awry ? The true cause is,
Stella lookt on ; and from her heav'nly face
Sent forth the beames which made so faire my race.
Young men such as these could not re-
main content with the shows of war at
home. Both strained to get away to actual
battle and adventure, and were only re-
strained by the imperative mandates of the
Queen, who cared not to risk in unneces-
sary perils the lives of those she loved to
have about her. Sidney especially was
deeply interested in the discoveries and ad-
venturing of the time. Not only were books
of poetry, like T^he Shepheardes Kalender,
dedicated to him, but the first edition of his
school-friend's, Richard Hakluyt's, Voyages
as well. Sidney had ventured a share in
An Old-Time Friendship
Frobisher's voyage of 1575 ; had sat, while
a member of Parliament for Kent, in a com-
mittee intrusted with a definition of the
elastic boundaries of Virginia ; and had nar-
rowly missed going with Sir Humphrey
Gilbert on the ill-fated voyage that cost
England that brave seaman. An interest-
ing part of Greville's Life of his friend de-
tails how the two young men slipped away
from Court, Sidney finding an errand of state
to Plymouth, there to effect, if possible, a
junction with Sir Francis Drake and to sail
with him on his famous expedition against
the colonies of Spain. Sir Francis seems to
have been not a little concerned at the pros-
pect of having two such prominent young
courtiers aboard his ship ; and was, it is
likely, not unaware of the manner in which
their purpose reached the ear of the Queen.
Elizabeth's attitude towards the refractori-
ness of her young courtiers in breaking
away from her pampering and tyrannical
92 An Old-Time Friendship
favor is well illustrated in the words which
she is reported to have addressed to young
Lord Mountjoy, who had " twice or thrice
stole away into Brittany . . . without the
Queen's leave or privity." When he had
come into her presence, "she fell into a
kind of railing, demanding how he durst
go. ... * Serve me so,' quoth she, * once
more, and I will lay you fast enough for
running ; you will never leave till you are
knocked on the head, as that inconsider-
ate fellow Sidney was ; you shall go when
I send. In the mean time see that you
lodge in the Court . . . where you may fol-
low your book, read, and discourse of the
wars.'" Well may Greville exclaim, after
relating his own staying on a similar occa-
sion : " Wherein whatsoever I felt, yet I ap-
peal to the judicious reader, whether there
be latitude left — more than humble obe-
dience — in these nice cases between duty
and selfness, in a sovereign's service ? "
An Old-Time Friendship 93
When Sidney and Greville were boys
there was little promise of the great litera-
ture that was about to burst forth in Eng-
land. Chaucer was still read, it is true, and
all were agreed in calling him the Homer
of English poetry. But the jingling satire
of Skelton and the rude genre farce of John
Heywood had been succeeded in the popu-
lar esteem by the lugubrious complaints of
The Mirror for Magistrates^ in which histori-
cal victim after victim of the fatal turn of
Fortune's wheel returns from his appointed
place of torture to rehearse in long-paced
metre and with wearisome alliteration the
miseries of his fall, and to warn the reader
of the probable coming of a like fate.
Even the songs and popular lyrics partook
of this dolefulness of subject and inevitable
mannerism of style. The collection known
as TottePs Miscellany, which contained the
best lyrical poetry of the time of Henry the
Eighth and his son, had indeed been made,
94 An Old-Time Friendship
and had run through six editions before
Sidney came of age ; but the best work of
Wyatt and Surrey, contributed to this col-
lection, remained unequalled, if we except
the promise of something better in the ori-
ginal work of Gascoigne and in scattered
poems by some few others.
But despite all this, there was a general
interest in literature such as had never
existed before in England, By the year
1574, Sidney and Greville had left Shrews-
bury and were at Oxford and Cambridge
respectively, though still in frequent com-
munication with each other. A year later
Lyly, Peele, and Watson were at Oxford,
while her sister University held Harvey,
Spenser, Lodge, and Greene. These are
some of the names that achieved literary
celebrity, but every young man of promise
was writing, translating, poetizing, theoriz-
ing about literature. Poetry, philosophy,
history, the drama, rhetoric, and versifica-
An Old-Time Friendship
tiori were the chief topics to which this
activity was addressed, and beside the set
treatises in which these matters were avow-
edly discussed, there was scarcely a preface
or a pamphlet, on whatever ostensible sub-
ject, which did not enter into a considera-
tion of these questions of the day.
It was in the midst of such conditions
as these that young Philip Sidney founded
what Gabriel Harvey called the Areopagus.
There is a pastoral poem extant, " made by
Sir Philip Sidney upon his meeting with his
two worthy friends and fellow-poets. Sir
Edward Dyer and Master Fulke Greville."
A stanza or two will show their relation :
Joyne, mates, in mirth with me,
Graunt pleasure to our meeting ;
Let Pan, our good god, see
How gratefull is our greeting.
Joyne hearts and hands, so let it be ;
Make but one minde in bodies three.
Ye hymnes and singing skill.
Of God Apolloe's giving,
9^ An Old-Time Friendship
Be prest our reedes to fill
With sound of musicke living,
Joyne hearts and hands, so let it be ;
Make but one minde in bodies three.
Now joyned be our hands,
Let them be ne'r a sunder.
But linkt in binding bands
By metamorphoz'd wonder.
So should our sever'd bodies three
As one for ever joyned be.
This " happy, blessed trinity," as it is
called in another stanza, was the heart of
the Areopagus. About these were clustered
a chosen few, deeply interested in poetry
and in theories about it. Edmund Spenser,
then newly come to Court, could not have
failed to be drawn into such a brotherhood.
Gabriel Harvey, a somewhat pragmatical
Cambridge don, surveyed the proceedings
from afar, and penned jocular or censorius
letters to Spenser on the subjects discussed,
all of which letters he carefully preserved
An Old-Time Friendship 97
in copy and printed with some of Spenser's
a few years later, for general edification
and the particular aggrandizement of Ga-
briel's own importance. It is unlikely that
there was anything in the nature of a for-
mal association among these young men.
They were all interested in poetry, and each
of them — even Harvey in Latin — was a
" practitioner " of it. The most important
question of the day was the possibility of a
future for English literature. It must be re-
membered that at the date of the Areopagus,
in the late seventies and early eighties, not
a play of Marlowe, Shakespeare, or Jonson
had been written; that Bacon was a pro-
mising lad occasionally at Court with his
father, dubbed by the Queen for his clever
answers her "little Lord Chancellor,'' and
that the Faerie ^ueene was in the making,
but not yet known to any save Harvey,
who seems to have set little store by it.
To be satisfied with Surrey or Gascoigne,
9 8 An Old-Time Friendship
recently dead and accounted " the chief of
our late rhymers," was out of the question.
The Italians had done better than this. But
even the Italians had not equalled the an-
cients, who, in place of the rational admi-
ration which the literatures of Greece and
Rome must ever inspire in the man who
will be at the pains to know them, were
adored by these Latin-taught young men
with a superstitious reverence that seems
to have lingered in the ferules of their
schoolmasters from the Middle Ages and
to have been imparted, like much of the
education of the time, non sine lacrimis. It
was thus that the question of a possible
future for English literature was narrowed
into an endeavor to foist classical metres
upon English verse, and English hexame-
ters, alcaics, sapphics, and asclepiads be-
came the popular metrical experiments of
Spenser appears to have toyed with these
An Old-Time Friendship 99
experiments ; for all this while he was seri-
ously at work on the Faerie ^eene. In a
letter to Harvey, Spenser is merry on the
subject, likening certain words, to the cus-
tomary accent of which the new versifica-
tion did violence, to " a lame gosling that
draweth one leg after the other,'' and con-
cluding with an irony which may not have
been altogether appreciated by Harvey :
" But it must be won with custom, and
rough words must be subdued with use.
For why, a God's name, may not we, as
else the Greeks, have the kingdom of our
own language?" Not such was the attitude
of Sidney, who felt that the question was
not to be solved except by extensive and
serious experiment. With an enthusiasm
and diligence which is amazing in view of
his social and political activity, Sidney set
himself to the study of this problem and to
the demonstration of its success or failure.
From the minute details of the rules of
loo An Old-Time Friendship
classical prosody to the grasp and assimila-
tion of the aesthetic theories of Aristotle,
all was the subject of Sidney's attention.
Widening the field to include a considera-
tion of his contemporaries, French, Spanish,
or Italian, he set himself to transplant into
England whatever might beautify and en-
rich her literature, and accomplished what
his short life permitted — his rapturous
sonnets, Astrophel and Stella^ his romantic
pastoral, Arcadia^ and his noble Defence of
Poesie — not in the spirit of abject imita-
tion, but with that free play of the imagi-
nation and original poetic instinct which
are his distinguishing characteristics. The
shadows and black clouds of disfavor which
Elizabeth permitted at times to sweep
across the blessed light of the royal favor
were not without their advantages to her
disconsolate courtiers. It was in a period
of eclipse such as this, the result of his
bold letter to the Queen arguing against
An Old-Time Friendship loi
her marriage with the Duke of Anjou, that
Sidney found the leisure for the writing of
his Arcadia and for carrying on the experi-
ments just mentioned. It was Sidney's use
of classical and Italian forms of poetry, his
writing of sonnets, pastorals, his employ-
ment of "conceit" and a flowery, poetical
diction, that gave sanction and currency to
all these things* They would have existed
without him, for they were in the air,
the very perfume of the time ; but it was
something for English poetry to have had
the budding of this blossoming spring at
the hands of this sane and gracious poet, this
noble, sound-hearted man.
"AN AERY OF CHILDREN
"An Aery of Children
THERE is, sir, an aery of children,
little eyases, that cry out on the
top of question and are most tyran-
nically clapped for 't : these are now the
fashion, and so berattle the common stages
— so they call them — that many wearing
rapiers are afraid of goose-quills and dare
scarce come thither.
" What, are they children ? who main-
tains 'em ? how are they escoted ? Will
they pursue the quality no longer than they
can sing ? will they not say afterwards, if
they should grow themselves to common
io6 An Aery of Children
players — as it is most like, if their means
are no better — their writers do them
wrong, to make them exclaim against their
own succession ?
" 'Faith, there has been much to do on
both sides ; and the nation holds it no sin
to tarre them to controversy : there was,
for a while, no money bid for argument,
unless the poet and the player went to cuffs
in the question.
" Is 't possible ?
" Oh, there has been much throwing
about of brains.
*' Do the boys carry it away ?
" Ay, that they do, my lord ; Hercules
and his load too."
From this well-known passage of Ham-
let it appears that a certain company of boy
actors, who are likened for their forward-
ness to a nest-full of fledgling hawks, are
in great popularity for their high-pitched
eloquence and for the satirical intent of
Little Eyases 107
their plays. There was controversy between
them and other companies, and the town
did not hesitate to set them ("tarre them")
hke dogs upon each other, and to grant
that the boys, who apparently looked down
upon their opponents' theatres as " common
stages,'' had the better of the argument.
In the London of Spenser's boyhood
there was not a single theatre, and Eliza-
beth ruled nearly twenty years before the
first playhouses were erected. The yards of
several inns, it is true, were used for bear-
baiting, cock-fighting, or theatrical exhi-
bitions, as the case might be; and several
companies of strolling actors gained a pre-
carious living in and about London under
the ostensible patronage of certain nobles.
The crudity of their performances was the
laughing-stock of the courtiers, and many
were the jokes which were cracked at
the expense of the English playwright, of
whom it was said that " in three hours
io8 An Aery of Children
runs he through the world . . . makes
children men, men to conquer kingdoms,
murder monsters, bringeth gods from hea-
ven and devils from hell." At Court, at the
Universities, and in the societies of the Inns
of Court, another species of drama flour-
ished, and with it another species of actor.
Here was the domain of cultivated life and
the sanction of classical study; and the
actors, when not courtiers themselves or the
gentlemen of the Inner or Middle Tem-
ple or of Gray's Inn, were the well-trained
boys of her Majesty's Chapel or of the choir
of the Cathedral of St. Paul's. Into what
depths of antiquity the training of Eng-
lish choir-boys for theatrical performances
extends, it would be difficult to determine.
Considering the customary performance of
miracles and moralities by craft-guilds as
well as clericals and the frequent acting
of plays of Plautus and Terence in Latin
at the Universities in the Middle Ages,
Little Eyases 109
the practice must have been of very early
origin. If the choir-boy was not the ear-
Hest actor, the choir-master was certainly
among the earliest playwrights. The duties
of Richard Edwards, Doctor of Music and
Master of her Majesty's Chapel, must have
been multifarious. For not only did he
train and lead his choir and accompany
them on the organ ; it was his duty also
to compose new sacred music and secular
songs, to devise pageants and '* shews," to
write plays and to teach his young charges
how to act them to the *' contentation " of
In the fragmentary and disjointed re-
cords of the office of the Queen's Revels,
the function of which was to furnish enter-
tainment to the Court on holidays and
high days, are many entries of payments
for actors, for properties, and services, apper-
taining to the presentations of masques and
plays before the Queen. Among them, the
no An Aery of Children
mention of the Children of Paul's, of Wind-
sor, of Westminster, and of her Majesty's
Chapel are not infrequent, and many pay-
ments are rec6rded to their Masters. This
is the usual form : " Payde upon the coun-
celFs warraunt dated at Westminster the
ninth daye of March 1561 to Sebastyan
Westcot, Master of the children of Polls
for an Enterlude played before the Queen's
Majesty vj^^ xiij' iiij"^." Some entries sug-
gest the nature of the performance. Thus a
furrier was paid for "ten dosen of Kydd's
skinnes together with the woorkmanship
by him and his servaunts doone upon the
Hobby horses that served the children
of Westminster in the Triumphe, where
parris [Paris] wan the Christall sheeld for
Vienna at the turneye and barryers ; " and
the history of "cipio [Scipio] Africanus
showen at Whitehall the sondaye night
after newe yeares dale [was] enacted by
the children of Pawles furnished in this
Offyce with sondrey garments and trium-
phant ensignes and banners newe made
and their head-pieces of white sarcenett,
scarfes and garters etc/' From a series of
entries intended to convey no more than
the information of certain extra charges
and the reasons for them, a momentary
ghmpse of the life of these little actors may
be obtained. These entries shall tell their
own story :
**Item, for the diets and lodging of
divers children at saint Jones whiles thay
Learned theier parts and jestures meet for
the Mask in which ix of them did serve
at Hampton Coorte xxxiij' iiij*^.
" To Bruton of Powles wharfe for a
Bardge and vj ores [oars] with ij Tylt Whir-
reyes that carryed the Masking geare and
Children with theier tutors and an Italian
Woman the which to dresse theier heads
as also the Taylers, property makers and
112 An Aery of Children
'^ To William Skarboro for flyer and
vittels for the Children and theier attend-
ants whiles thay wayted to know whether
her Majesty would have the Maske that
nighte ix' vj"^.
'' For trymmyng the Children on Shrove-
" To Mother sparo for the lodgings with
ffyer and ffoode that nighte and in the
Morning whiles they staled for botes [boats
at Kingston] xij"^.
"To Thomas Totnall for ffyer and vit-
tells for the Children when they landed,
sum of them being sick and colde and
hungry v' Vf.''
Let us hope that Mother Sparrow was
kind to her little charges, and that Thomas
Totnall, furnishing fire and victuals, did
not skimp the weary little fellows in their
That abuses should have arisen in this
traffic was to be expected. In the early
Little Eyases 113
years of Elizabeth's reign there was only
an occasional use of schoolboys or choir-
boys for performances at Court. But while
the boys of Westminster School and the
Merchant Tailors' continued occasional and
amateur performers, the Children of the
Chapel and those of St. Paul's were soon
formed into regularly organized professional
companies each with its place of popular
performance in the city, either the singing-
school or a theatre constructed for them.
The excuse for the earlier popular theatri-
cal representations of the day was that of
practice for the Queen's entertainment, for
without the direct patronage of the Court
no company could long maintain itself.
The choir-master, thus converted into a
theatrical manager, added an eager pursuit
of popular favor to his former duty as a
purveyor of entertainment to the Court. In
1597 letters patent were issued under the
great seal authorizing Nathaniel Gyles, then
114 An Aery of Children
Master of the Chapel, and his deputies " to
take such children as he . . . should thinke
meete, in cathedrall, collegiate, parish
churches or chappells " for the better ser-
vice of her Majesty's Chapel. This power
Gyles abused by taking likely and clever
lads from their schools and even apprentices
from their masters, " being children noe
way able or litt for singing, nor by anie the
sayd confederates endeavoured to be taught
to singe," and employing them, as the peti-
tion proceeds to set forth, for the manager's
** owne corrupte gayne and lucre, to errecte,
sett upp, furnish and maynteyne a play
house or place in the Blackfryers within
your Majesties cytie of London, and to the
end they mighte the better furnish theire
sayd playes and enterludes with childeren
whome they thought moste fittest to acte
and furnish the said playes."
Relieved of its legal verbiage, this com-
plaint proceeds to relate how one Thomas
Little Eyases "5
Clifton, a gentleman's son of some thirteen
years of age, had been kidnapped on his way
to school and brought to the playhouse in
Blackfriars " amongst a companie of lewde
and dissolute mercenary players," how the
boy was given, " in most scornfull disdayn-
full and dispightful manner, a scroll of
paper conteyning parte of one of theire
playes and . . . commaunded to learne the
same by harte," and told that if he did not
obey " he should be surely whipped." To
the father of young Clifton, who sought
his son at the theatre. Gyles was exceed-
ingly abusive, not only refusing to release
the boy, but declaring that " if the Queene
. . . would not beare them furth in that
accion, she should gett another to execute
her commission for them" [that is, as far
as they were concerned] ; and replying to
Clifton's objection that " it was not fitt
that a gentleman of his sorte should have
his Sonne and heire to be so basely used,"
ii6 An Aery of Children
that " they had aucthoritie sufficient soe to
take any noble mans sonne in this land, and
did then and there use theis speeches, that
were it not for the benefitt they made by
the sayd play house, whoe would, should
serve the Cappell with childeren for them."
Indeed it was not until the matter was
brought to the attention of the Queen's
privy council that a warrant was at last is-
sued compelling Gyles to release some of
the boys, and the upshot of the whole mat-
ter was a censure by the Star Chamber by
which all '* assurances made to him con-
cerning the said house or plays " were de-
clared utterly void.
Of the seven boys named in the com-
plaint as thus violently inducted into the
theatrical profession, two at least remained
in it. These were the notable actor and play-
wright, Nathaniel Field, and little Salathiel
Pavey, who achieved reputation as an actor
before his death at the early age of thirteen.
Little Eyases 117
By the irony of fate. Field was the son of
a preacher who wrote in 1581 a letter to
the Earl of Leicester " adjuring him not to
encourage those wickednesses and abuses
that are wont to be nourished by those
impure interludes and plays." On an acci-
dent at one of the theatres, in which several
persons were hurt, the same zealous man
published a pamphlet beginning \ ^^ A Godly
Exhortation by occasion of the late judg-
ment of God shewed at Paris Garden,'* and
ending : " given to all estates for their in-
struction, concerning the keeping of the
Sabbath day, by John Field Minister of
the Word of God/' John Field died whilst
Nathaniel was still an infant, and was thus
spared much unhappiness. When Nathan-
iel was carried off by Gyles he was a scholar
at Westminster School and could have been
little over twelve or thirteen years of age.
In 1600 and the next year. Field was the
chief actor in Jonson's difficult satirical
ii8 An Aery of Children
plays, Cynthia s Revels and the Poetaster.
Several years later he took the title-role in
Epiccene or the Silent Woman. In this play
the perplexities of identification reach the
highest point as the silent woman in the
fifth act is suddenly metamorphosed into a
noisy boy, and the actor must thus pretend
to be that which he is not, to delude his
auditors into believing him not to be that
which he is. Field was a kind of protege of
Jonson's, who related years after that the
boy was his scholar and had read to him
the satires of Horace and some epigrams of
Martial. It is pleasant to contemplate the
picture thus presented to us of the father-
less boy, stolen away from his mother and
deprived of his schooling, gaining so power-
ful a friend as the great dramatist and dic-
tator, with the latter's attempt to supply
in part the boy's interrupted education.
Salathiel Pavey was also among the actors
of the earlier two plays just mentioned, but
suffered an untimely fate. As appears from
the verses below, this child was renowned
for his ability to play the parts of old men.
and must have been deeply beloved by Jon-
son to have been so embalmed, fleeting little
creature that he was, in the clear amber of
the following fine epitaph :
Weep with me, all you that read
This little story :
And know, for whom a teare you shed,
Death's selfe is sorry.
'T was a child, that so did thrive
In grace and feature.
As Heaven and Nature seem'd to strive
Which own'd the creature.
Yeares he numbred scarce thirteene
When Fates turn'd cruell.
Yet three fill'd Zodiacs had he been
The Stage's Jewell ;
And did act, what now we moan.
Old men so duely.
As, sooth, the Parca thought him one.
He plai'd so truely.
So, by error to his fate
They all consented ;
I20 An Aery of Children
But viewing him since (alas, too late !)
They have repented j
And have sought, to give new birth.
In bathes to steep him ;
But, being so much too good for earth.
Heaven vowes to keep him.
An examination of the repertoire of
these boy companies discloses the fact that
they performed for the most part plays of
a satirical and allegorical intent : Peele's
Arraignment of Paris ^ in which the apple of
Ate is taken from Venus and reawarded to
the peerless nymph and queen, Eliza ; Lyly's
Endimion, in which is figured forth in elab-
orate allegory the vain love of Leicester
for Cynthia, that changeful, brilliant lumi-
nary and queen of night ; Cynthia's Revels
and the Poetaster, in which the gilded life
of courtiers and the foibles and jealousies of
the poets are respectively satirized. Widely
contrasted were such plays with the stirring
dramas of Marlowe and Shakespeare with
which the popular stages were ringing, in
which the characters were no mere witty
caricatures of the follies that disported their
velvets and plumes at Court or in Paul's
Walk, the hero no dainty Euphuist apostro-
phizing the moon in measured cadence and
with ingenious simile, but merry Prince
Hal with his escapades in the free life of
Cheapside, his blunt courtship of the coy
Princess of France, and the valor, the un-
dertone of religious feeling, and the innate
manliness, that made Henry the Fifth the
popular English hero.
Toward the end of Elizabeth's reign the
boy companies made a strong effort to ob-
tain the favorable suffrage of the public.
They were notoriously active in what was
known as the " war of the theatres," in
which the dramatists carried on a seem-
ingly internecine conflict by means of a
satirical representation of each other on the
stage. They procured, too, the services of
122 An Aery of Children
some of the greatest playwrights of the age,
so that Chapman, Marston, and Jonson all
wrote for them for a time. It is not to be
doubted that to all this Shakespeare alludes
in the passage from Hamlet quoted above.
We have here the deliberate judgment of a
noble and successful rival on the unusual ef-
forts of the boy companies to curry popular
favor. It is in the kindly and humorsome
vein that we might expect of the master-
poet, whose only criticism is contained in
the hint that at some time the boys might
come to feel that their playwrights had
"done them wrong'' in thus setting them in
opposition to that profession in which most
of them were likely to continue as men.
Some of the contemporary dramas utilized
the circumstance that boys were the actors
to present us bits of realistic painting of the
manners of the time. Thus in Beaumont's
Knight of the Burning Pestle^ a satirical parody
of the absurdity of the romantic adventures
Little Eyases 123
often put on the stage, the prologue is spoken
by a boy who is easily induced with a couple
of shillings to permit an apprentice to be
poked into the play and to assume willy-
nilly the role of hero throughout.
In the Return from Parnassus the prologue
is begun by a boy who breaks down after
"Spectators we will act a comedy/' Where-
upon the stage-keeper tries to prompt him,
but has not the matter in his book; so he
scolds the lad and lets out the reason of his
" You would be whipt, you raskall : you
must be sitting up all night at cardes, when
you should be conning your part."
" Its all long of you," sobs the boy, " I
could not get my part a night or two before,
that I might sleepe on it."
The stage direction concludes: "the stage-
keeper carrieth the boy away under his
arme." Sobs, struggles, and well-directed
kicking we may imagine for ourselves.
An Aery of Children
Cynthia's Revels opens with a lively con-
tention between three of " the children "
as to which is to speak the prologue. They
decide the matter by drawing lots, and the
two unsuccessful claimants amuse them-
selves by badgering the speaker and try-
ing to put him out of his part. After this,
all fall to mimicking the auditors that
are accustomed to sit on the stage, cut-
ting precisely the antics which we might
expect of a parcel of lively urchins under
such circumstances, and employing an as-
severation, " Would I were whipped ! "
only too appropriate, we may fear, to the
method of their training. Here is a bit of
their mimicry. The dashes, in Jonson's
orthography, denote the airy whiiFs of the
young mimic as he smokes or — as they
then styled it — "drinks" and exhales his
" Now, sir, suppose I am one of your
gentile auditors, that am come in (having
Little Eyases 125
paid my money at the doore, with much
adoe) and here I take my place, and sit
downe : I have my three sorts of tabacco in
my pocket, my Hght by me, and thus I be-
gin. * By this light, I wonder that any man
is so mad, to come to see these rascally tits
play here — they do act like so many wrens
... — not the fifth part of a good face
amongst them all. — And then their musick
is abominable — able to stretch a man's
ears worse than ten — pillories, and their
ditties — most lamentable things, like the
pitifuU fellows that make them — poets.
By this vapour [and we may be sure that
the little rogue puffed out his smoke with
great unction], an 'twere not for tabacco
— I think — the very [smell] of hem
would poison mee, I should not dare to
come in at their gates. A man were bet-
ter visit fifteen jay Is, — or a dozen or two
hospitals — than once adventure to come
near them.' How is 't ? Well ?
" Excellent :
126 An Aery of Children
" Excellent : give me my cloake [the
badge of the speaker of the prologue] .
" Stay ; you shall see me doe another
now ; but a more sober, or better-gather' d
gallant ; that is (as it may be thought) some
friend or well-wisher to the house : And
here I enter.
" What ? upon the stage, too ?
" Yes : and I step forth like one of the
children, and aske you, * Would you have a
stoole, sir ? '
'''A stoole, boy?'
'' ' Aye, sir, if you 'le give me six pence,
I 'le fetch you one.'
" * For what I pray thee ? what shall I doe
with it ? '
" ' O lord, sir ! will you betray your igno-
rance so much ? Why throne your selfe in
state on the stage, as other gentlemen use,
" * Awaye, wagge ; what, wouldst thou
make an implement of me ? Slid the boy
Little Eyases 127
takes mee for a peece of perspective (I hold
my life), or some silke curtain.' "
We may feel sure that these sketches
were not without their true originals in
life, and perchance not always in need of
the intervention of a poet for their presen-
Women first appeared as actresses on the
stage about the time of the Restoration, and
in a few years the boy actor was a thing
of the past. Francis Kynaston is reputed
to have been the last male actor to appear
in female parts. Kynaston was famed for
his delicate beauty and it is of him that
Gibber relates the story, that King Charles,
coming earlier than was expected to the
playhouse, became impatient that the play
did not begin, until informed that the Queen
was unhappily not yet shaven.
A GROATSWORTH OF WIT
A Groatsworth of Wit
LATE in the summer of 1 593, a young
man lay dying in low lodgings near
Dowgate, " sore sick of a surfeit
which he had taken with drinking." De-
graded with sin, pinched with want, starv-
ing and dying in the street, except for the
charity of a shoemaker's wife, almost a
beggar like himself, he had reached the
end of a short and wasted life, and now too
late lay repentant in the agony of helpless
humiliation. A waste of raging and beat-
ing waves seemed to him to have flowed
between his miserable present and the sim-
ple, godly household of his childhood, the
132 A Groatsworth of Wit
memory of which had inspired him with
some of his sweetest songs. The one year
of calm and righteous life which he had
spent with his fair and newly-wedded wife
stood out in his memory like an island of
bliss in an ocean of bitterness ; and he re-
curred again and again to the face of his
little son, for years deserted and forgotten,
and groaned in agony as he thought how
that innocent life might fall and crumble
like his own under a burden of sin.
For the rest, it seemed a hideous dream,
a very orgy of weakness, folly, and wicked-
ness. At Cambridge Robert Greene had
ruffled it with gay and roistering compan-
ions and, travelling into Italy, had justified
the grave words of the Queen's old tutor,
Roger Ascham, who had warned fathers :
" Suffer not your sons to pass the Alps, for
they shall learn nothing there but pride,
blasphemy and atheism." In London after
a short period of study, Greene plunged
A Groatsworth of Wit 133
into excesses of life and conduct from which
he revolted in his saner moments. At last he
became the associate and boon companion
of thieves and outcasts, and fell to depths
v^hence self-respect could no longer recall
him. In the days of Queen Elizabeth
men had not yet learned to despise the
devil. They believed in his actual exist-
ence, horns, hoofs and all. And although
they dallied with him — as men have dal-
lied, alas, in all ages — they were often over-
come with terror, like Faustus, at their
dealings with him. It is this which gives
a tragic pathos to the despairing words of
the dying Robert Greene, and shakes our
modern skepticism into something like re-
spect for the efficacy of a death-bed repent-
The sins of Robert Greene lay heavy
upon him even in the midst of his bad life.
He tells us in his pamphlet, The Repentance,
how he received an "inward motion in
134 A Groatsworth of Wit
Saint Andrew's Church in the city of Nor-
wich at a lecture or sermon preached by a
godly learned man. . . . Whosoever was
worst, I knew myself to be as bad as he :
for being new come from Italy (where I
learned all the villainies under heaven) I
was drowned in pride . . . and gluttony
with drunkenness was my only delight. At
this sermon the terror of God's judgment
did manifestly teach me that my exer-
cises were damnable and that I should be
wiped out of the book of life, if I did not
speedily repent my looseness of life. ... I
began to call unto mind the danger of my
soul ... in so much as, sighing, I said in
myself: * Lord have mercy upon me, and
send me grace to amend and become a new
man.' " But returning to his " copesmates,"
they rallied him on his " solemn humor,"
" calling me Puritan and a Precisian, and
wished that I might have a pulpit . . . that
by their foolish persuasion the good and
A Groatsworth of Wit 135
wholesome lesson I had learned went quite
out of my remembrance.'*
There were other thoughts in the mind
of the dying man. He remembered an
early ambition that had once glowed within
him : to be a poet and create those forms
of beauty in musical words, which rendered
their makers, in the estimation of men, the
peers of kings and princes. The reputation
of Edmund Spenser, the great "new poet''
at Court, burned with a steady, holy flame ;
and the splendid boast of the Faerie ^eene
was on the lips of many, who agreed that
truly this beautiful poem, dedicated " to the
Most High, Mightie and Magnificent Em-
peresse, . . . Elizabeth, by the Grace of
God Queene of England, France, Ireland
and Virginia," was " to live with the eter-
nity of her fame." And what of the work
of Robert Greene? His heart fell within
him as he contrasted this priceless achieve-
ment with his sweet, twittering lyrics and
136 A Groatsworth of Wit
the scores of trifling pamphlets scribbled for
bread, some of them wrung from his very
heart-strings. He thought of the rewrit-
ing, patching, and making of plays for the
fickle London play-goers, and his half-suc-
cess, half-failure on the stage. Greene, like
most of the earlier dramatists, was prob-
ably an actor as well as a playwright, and
in the moments when his finer nature re-
asserted itself, may have felt, like his great
and successful rival, Shakespeare, the degra-
dation of an art the practitioners of which
were coupled on the statute books with
"rogues, vagabonds and sturdy beggars."
It was but a broken career at best, and the
mind of the dying player reverted to the
day on which he had taken up this ignoble
profession. He was sitting beside a coun-
try hedge-row penniless and disowned, and
crying out upon the untowardness of his
fate, when he was accosted by a stranger
from the other side of the hedge. When
A Groats worth of Wit 137
the stranger approached " he saluted Robert
in this sort:
" ' Gentleman/ quoth he, * — for you so
seem — I have by chance heard you dis-
course some part of your grief, which ap-
peareth to be more than you will discover,
or I can conceit. But if you vouchsafe such
simple comfort as my ability will yield,
assure yourself that I will endeavor to do
the best that either may procure your profit
or bring you pleasure : the rather, for that
I suppose you are a scholar, and pity it is
that men of learning should live in lack/
" Roberto, wondering to hear such good
words, for that this iron age affords few
that esteem of virtue, returned him thank-
ful gratulations, and — urged by necessity
— uttered his present grief, beseeching his
advice how he might be employed.
« < Why easily,' quoth he, ' and greatly
to your benefit ; for men of my profession
get by scholars their whole living.'
" ' What
138 A Groatsworth of Wit
'' 'What is your profession?' said Roberto.
" ' Truly, sir/ said he, ' I am a player/
" * A player ! ' quoth Roberto, * I took you
rather for a gentleman of great living ; for if
by outward habit men should be censured,
I can tell you, you would be taken for a
'' ' So am I where I dwell,' quoth the
player, * reputed able at my proper cost
to build a Windmill. What though the
world once went hard with me, when I
was fain to carry my playing fardle a foot-
back. Tempora mutantur, I know you know
the meaning of it better than I, but I thus
conster it : it is otherwise now ; for my
very share in playing apparel will not be
sold for two hundred pounds.'
" * Truly,' said Roberto, ' it is strange that
you should so prosper in that vain practice,
for that it seems to me your voice is nothing
" ' Nay then,' said the player, * I mislike
A Groats worth of Wit 139
your judgment. Why, I am as famous for
Delphrigus, the king of the fairies, as ever
was any of my time. The twelve labors of
Hercules have I terribly thundered on the
stage, and placed three scenes of the devil
on the highway to heaven.'
" * Have you so ? ' said Roberto, * then I
pray you pardon me.'
** * Nay more,' quoth the player, * I can
serve to make a pretty speech, for I was a
country author, passing at a moral ; for it
was I that penned the moral of Mans Wit,
the Dialogue of Dives, and for seven years'
space was absolute interpreter of the pup-
pets. But now my almanac is out of date :
The people make no estimation,
Of morals teaching education.
Was not this pretty for a plain rime extem-
pore ? If ye will ye shall have more.'
" * Nay, it is enough,' said Roberto, ' but
how mean you to use me ? '
" ' Why, sir, in making plays,' said the
I40 A Groatsworth of Wit
other, * for which you shall be well paid,
if you will take the pains/
" Roberto, perceiving no remedy, thought
best to respect his present necessity, to try
his wit, and went with him willingly ; who
lodged him at the town's end in a house of
retail, where what happened our poet, you
shall hereafter hear."
From this the dying man's mind wan-
dered on to his dramatic career ; to his
journey in Denmark and Saxony, with the
Earl of Leicester's players, the first com-
pany of English actors to go abroad, and
his sobriquet amongst them of " Robert
the Parson." There, too, was his failure
to catch, in his big, mouthing, bombastic
Alphonsus, the secret of the " mighty line "
and passion of Marlowe's Tamburlaine^ with
the praises of which the town was ringing ;
and there was his jealousy and the innuen-
does of his pamphlets against another rival
that surpassed him, Thomas Kyd, who
A Groatsworth of Wit 141
wrote the original Hamlet, Success ? Yes,
there were successes too ; for the ground-
lings had approved the " moral," A Looking
Glasse for London, which, in one of his re-
pentant moods, he had written with the
Lord Mayor's young son, Thomas Lodge,
and the life and spirit of his vivacious un-
aided plays. Friar Bacon and George a Greene,
had maintained them in a genuine contem-
porary popularity. As to his pamphlets,
everybody read them, "and glad was that
printer," said Thomas Nashe, " that might
be so blest to pay him deare for the very
dregs of his wit."
And now he dwelt in memory upon his
fellows of the stage, their bickerings and
jealousies, their talents and their waste of
them. Above all towered the threatening
image of a great and potent spirit that was
coming to shape order out of this chaos of
the Elizabethan dramatic world, to wrest
fortune, position, and esteem from a profes-
142 A Groatsworth of Wit
sion that had cost the lives — and perchance
the souls — of some of its followers, and to
leave behind him a monument of literary
glory unsurpassed in any age. Greene could
not have foreknown all this, nor have felt
the coming greatness of Shakespeare, save
as a kind of portent betokening he knew
not what. But he did know that a rival had
arisen to snatch the public favor from Kyd,
Marlowe, and himself; and it embittered
his last hours to think that this man, who
was neither a scholar nor born to even such
gentry as he himself might boast, should
march on to triumphant success where he
had so signally failed. In mingled envy,
bitterness, repentance, and despair was then
penned that notorious passage which con-
tains the first printed allusion to Shake-
speare, a passage which must speak here
once more for itself.
" To those gentlemen, his quondam ac-
quaintance, that spend their wits in making
A Groats worth of Wit 143
plays, R. G. wisheth a better exercise, and
wisdom to prevent his extremities.
" If woful experience may move you, gen-
tlemen, to beware, or unheard of wretch-
edness entreat you to take heed, I doubt
not but you will look back with sorrow
on your time past and endeavor with re-
pentance to spend that which is to come.
Wonder not — for with thee will I first
begin — thou famous gracer of tragedians
[Marlowe], that Greene, who hath said
with thee like the fool in his heart, ' There
is no God,' should now give glory unto his
greatness. For penetrating is his power ; his
hand lies heavy upon me, he hath spoken
with a voice of thunder, and I have felt he
is a God that can punish enemies. Why
should thy excellent wit, his gift, be so
blinded, that thou shouldst give no glory
to the giver ? Is it pestilent Machiavelian
policy that thou hast studied ? O punish
folly ! What are his rules but mere con-
A Groatsworth of Wit
fused mockeries, able to extirpate in small
time the generation of mankind ? . . . And
wilt thou, my friend, be his disciple ? Look
unto me, by him persuaded to that liberty,
and thou shalt find it an infernal bond-
age. I know the least of my demerits merit
this miserable death, but wilful striving
against known truth exceedeth all the ter-
rors of my soul. Defer not, with me,
till this last point of extremity, for little
knowest thou how in the end thou shalt
"With thee I join young Juvenal, that
biting satirist, that lastly with me together
writ a comedy. [Lodge, not Nashe, for the
Looking Glasse for London is a comedy, de-
spite heretical opinion, and a satire ; and it
was written by Greene and Lodge.] Sweet
boy, might I advise thee, be advised and
get not many enemies by bitter words. In-
veigh against vain men, for thou canst do
it, no man better, no man so well. Thou
A Groats worth of Wit 145
hast a liberty to reprove all and none more.
For one being spoken to, all are offended;
none being blamed, no man is injured. . . .
"And thou [George Peele], no less de-
serving than the other tw^o, in some things
rarer, in none inferior, driven, as myself, to
extreme shifts, a little have I to say to thee ;
and were it not an idolatrous oath, I would
swear by sweet Saint George, thou art un-
worthy better hap, sith thou dependest on
so mean a stay.
" Base-minded men, all three of you, if
by my misery ye be not warned ; for unto
none of you, like me, sought those burs to
cleave, those puppets, I mean [the actors],
that speak from our mouths, those antics
garnished in our colors.
" Is it not strange that I, to whom they
all have been beholding ; is it not like that
you, to whom they all have been behold-
ing, shall ' — were ye in that case that I am
now — be both at once of them forsaken ?
146 A Groatsworth of Wit
Yes trust them not ; for there is an upstart
crow, beautified with our feathers that, with
his 'tiger's heart wrapped in a player's hide,'
supposes he is as well able to bumbast out a
blank verse as the best of you ; and being
an absolute Johannes factotum^ is, in his own
conceit, the only Shakescene in a country.
O, that I might entreat your rare wits to
be employed in more profitable courses, and
let those apes imitate your past excellence,
and never more acquaint them with your
admired inventions. I know the best hus-
band of you all will never prove an usurer,
and the kindest of them all will never
prove a kind nurse. Yet whilst you may,
seek you better masters, for it is pity men
of such rare wits should be subject to the
pleasures of such rude grooms."
According to tradition Robert Greene
died the next day, after penning these pa-
thetic lines to the wife he had so cruelly
A Groats worth of Wit 147
" Sweet Wife :
As ever there was any good will or
friendship between thee and me, see this
bearer, my host, satisfied of his debt : I owe
him ten pound, and but for him I had per-
ished in the streets. Forget and forgive
my wrongs done unto thee, and Almighty
God have mercy on my soul. Farewell till
we meet in heaven, for on earth thou shalt
never see me more.
This 2 of September
Written by thy dying husband
PLAYS IN THE MAKING
Plays in the Making
IT would be difficult to find two careers
more completely in contrast than those
of Shakespeare and Thomas Dekker.
Beginning with almost equal disadvantages
as to education and place in the world, the
greater poet rose, as we all know, to repute
in " the quality which he professed," to
esteem amongst his fellows, to great con-
temporary fame as a poet (be it ever re-
membered), and to a handsome competence
earned by his address and industry as an
actor, a manager, and a playwright. On the
other hand amongst the many stories of
sorrow, want, and privation that belong to
15 2 Plays in the Making
English men of letters, Dekker's is almost
the saddest of all. The little we know
of his life presents a weary succession of
borrowings, imprisonments for debt, and
prayers for relief in a wilderness of incessant
toil. The writing of new plays, alone or
with coadjutors at least as needy as him-
self, the revamping of old plays, the trim-
ming of masques for Court, the additions
of prologues, epilogues, or comic scenes, the
penning of innumerable pamphlets — the
incipient purnalism of the day — on sub-
jects realistic, satirical, moral, and even reli-
gious; these were the tasks of an agile and
inventive brain, hack-driven and goaded to
unceasing effort through a period of thirty-
five years to procure the bare necessities of
life. In all this writing there is much that
might well be blotted out, not in scorn but
with tears of compassion. Yet if we turn
to Dekker's life, there remains on it no
breath of aspersion, and that in an age in
Plays in the Making 153
which a Marlowe died a death almost too
disgraceful to relate, in which even the au-
gust form of Shakespeare casts its shadow
of the Sonnets into the impenetrable obscu-
rity of which it is perhaps better not too
curiously to peer. Dekker's outlook on life
was sweetened with that charity which
comes to a good man with the chastening of
adversity ; his humor and his poetry welled
spontaneous from a heart which no sorrow
could make old nor privation wither. It is
inexpressibly touching to hear such a man
Virtue's branches wither, Virtue pines,
O pity, pity and alack the time ;
Vice doth flourish, Vice in glory shines,
Her gilded boughs above the cedar climb ;
apostrophizing " sweet content," and taking
for his motto :
Work apace, apace, apace, apace;
Honest labor bears a lovely face ;
Then hey nonny nonny, hey nonny nonny !
154 Plays in the Making
There is more of the sigh than of song in
this Httle meaningless refrain ; the sigh of a
heart in troubled equilibrium between the
impelling force which urges liberty and the
inexorable restraint of duty. The song is
the song of a prisoned bird.
The extraordinary diversity of the careers
of Shakespeare and Dekker is not explain-
able wholly by dissimilarity in their per-
sonal characters. It is dependent as well
upon the conjunction of circumstances that
made Shakespeare the most popular drama-
tist of the most successful theatrical com-
pany of the time and that threw Dekker,
on the other hand, into the employ of
Henslowe and into what became the slav-
ery of a lifetime. Philip Henslowe was
one of those shrewd, hard men of common
stock and coarse fibre who seem predes-
tined to acquire riches. His illiteracy is
almost beyond belief, when we consider
his years of association with the stage ; but
Plays in the Making 155
his astuteness and ability to drive a hard
bargain were held in doubt by no one who
had ever had dealings with him. Henslowe
was engaged in various trading enterprises
before he hit upon theatrical management,
and was variously a dealer in wood, a dyer,
the owner of a starch factory, a purchaser
and seller of real estate, an inn or lodging-
house keeper, and a pawnbroker. He is
described as unscrupulously hard to his ten-
ants, though apparently careful at all times
to keep well within the bounds of the law.
He thrived in his ventures and, emulous of
respectability, figured as a vestryman and
churchwarden of St. Saviour's, Southwark.
Between the years 1584 and 1616, the year
of his death, Henslowe was interested in
some five or six theatres, of which the Rose,
the Swan, the Fortune, and the playhouse
at Newington Butts were the chief. In
his management of these houses he must
have been greatly assisted by the famous
156 Plays in the Making
actor, Edward Alleyn, who had married his
step-daughter and entered into a kind of
partnership with him. But Henslowe had
an ambition even above playhouses. After
much bargaining and negotiation he con-
trived to obtain, soon after the accession of
James, " the mastership of the royal game
of bears, bulls, and mastiff dogs," thus be-
coming an officer of the crown. This office
he retained till his death, and he transmitted
it to Alleyn.
Most of our information about Henslowe
and his traffic with the stage has come down
to us in a manuscript commonly called
Henslowe' s Diary, It is really not a diary
at all, but a species of account-book, con-
taining memoranda of matters of interest
to Henslowe in his conduct of the man-
agement of his several theatres. Neither
the name of Shakespeare nor that of Beau-
mont nor of Fletcher, occurs in it. But it
contains the names of nearly every other
Plays in the Making 157
dramatist of importance during the heyday
of the Elizabethan age and many of their
autographs. The volume is a large folio,
vellum covered, and soiled and grimy v^ith
use. It is mostly in the illiterate hand-
v^riting of Henslowe himself, although
entries by other scribes, clerks, and parties
to agreements and receipts therein noted
are of frequent occurrence. Not only is
the manuscript badly vi^ritten and execrably
spelled, but the entries are much confused
through the evident desire of its owner to
utilize every blank page. The book de-
scended to AUeyn by will, who in turn left
it to the College of God's Gift, which he
had charitably founded with his own and
Henslowe's money, where it still remains at
Dulwich. Henslowe's Diary has long been
known to scholars and antiquaries, and has
unfortunately suffered from this acquaint-
ance, having lost some of its leaves by tear-
ing and some of its autographs by excision,
158 Plays in the Making
besides showing, what is worse, the inter-
polations of the forger.
As owner and manager of so many thea-
tres, Henslowe was concerned with the
procuring of suitable plays, their revision
and adaptation for given performances, with
the purchase of materials for his playhouses
and the making of contracts for the build-
ing of them, with properties, costumes, and
the staging of plays, and with payments to
actors and " sharers," as the partners in the
theatrical companies were called. All of
these matters are abundantly illustrated in
the Diary ^ together with others kindred but
not so obvious. From being a mere mana-
ger, Henslowe came insensibly to be a sort
of middle-man between the company and
the playwrights, and banker or money-
lender for those in his employ, standing
towards them at times in the relation of
a patron. Thus we find him advancing
money " to harey chettell to paye his
Plays in the Making 159
charges in the marshallsey " and " to disc-
charge Mr. Dicker [Dekker] out of the
counter [the prison for debtors] in powl-
trey/' In like straits. Field writes to him :
*' Father Hinchlow, I am unluckily taken
on an execution of 30^ I can be dis-
charged for xx^ x^ I have from a friend :
if now, in my extremity, you will venture
x^ more for my liberty, I will never share
penny till you have it again, and make any
satisfaction, by writing or otherwise, that
you can devise/' Henslowe's method of
binding needy playwrights to his service
was as simple as it was effective. On the
submission and acceptance of a plan for a
play an advance of money was easily ob-
tained, a written memorandum of which
was made and signed by the playwright.
Further advances of money were dependent
upon the precise performance of the play-
wright's part of the contract ; but all ad-
vances were so contrived as to leave the
i6o Plays in the Making
playwright always in Henslowe's debt and
the obligation between the parties was never
entirely cancelled. Many a piteous appeal
for money is preserved among the Alleyn
papers at Dulwich, by which the inner
workings of this Elizabethan sweating sys-
tem for the manufacture of plays is dis-
closed. " Sir, if you do not like this play
when it is read/' writes the obscure drama-
tist, Robert Daborne, "you shall have the
other, which shall be finished with all ex-
pedition ; for, before God, this is a good
one, and will give you content : howsoever
you shall never lose a farthing by me,
wherefor I pray you misdoubt me not; . . .
and, I pray you, send me ten shillings."
Again : ** Sir, your man was with me, who
found me writing the last scene, which I
had thought to have brought you to-night,
but it will be late ere I can do it ; and being
Saturday night, my occasion urges me to
request you spare me ten shillings more."
Plays in the Making i6i
And lastly in great urgency : '' Mr. Hinch-
low, of all friendship let me be beholding
to you for one twenty shillings, which shall
be the last I will request till the play be
fully by us ended."
In the consideration of plots for new
plays Henslowe employed the expert advice
of Alleyn. Thus Daborne writes Henslowe
that a promised play " shall come upon the
neck of this new play they are now study-
ing ; if you please to appoint any hour to
read to Mr. Alleyn, I will not fail, nor
after this day lose any time til it be con-
cluded." The bids of rival companies are
at times quoted to raise the price of plays,
a device which does not seem to have proved
very effective, but which resulted in an
agreement by one playwright to write only
for Henslowe's company. Instances are not
wanting in which the subtle old manager
appears to have been taken in by writers
who would not hesitate, could it be safely
1 62 Plays in the Making
done, to palm off old productions for new
and thus perhaps quit old scores.
From these battered pages we obtain
thus a momentary picture of a busy public
mart for the buying and selling of plays ;
a glimpse of the wires that moved the pup-
pets of the time : puppets that played their
parts in emulation of the puppets of Shake-
speare, that strained to rival him in his
might, nay held their own in the judg-
ment of the contemporary play-goer to the
enrichment of Henslowe. Henslowe's pa-
trons seem to have demanded a new play
about once a fortnight, contenting them-
selves meanwhile with plays which had al-
ready received their suffrage. It was not
customary to repeat a play on successive
days. Popular plays were repeated, how-
ever, at not infrequent intervals ; thus Mar-
lowe's Faustus was performed fifteen times
within a twelvemonth, his Jew of Malta
and Tamburlaine nearly as often, both parts
Plays in the Making 163
of the last play being given on two occa-
sions on successive days. Besides these
plays of Marlowe, Kyd's Spanish Tragedy
and a play which Henslowe calls " hary
vj" enjoyed the greatest popularity among
the plays still extant and enumerated by
Henslowe. It was of scenes in this play that
Thomas Nashe wrote, in a pamphlet con-
temporary with these entries of Henslowe :
** Nay what if I prove plays to be no ex-
treme, but a rare exercise of virtue ? First,
for the subject of them, for the most part
it is borrowed out of our English chroni-
clers, wherein our forefathers' valiant acts
(that have lain long buried in rusty brass
and worm-eaten books) are revived, and
they themselves raised from the grave of
oblivion and brought to plead their aged
honors in open presence ; than which what
can be a sharper reproof of these degenerate
effeminate days of ours ? How would it
have joyed brave Talbot, the terror of the
164 Plays in the Making
French, to think that after he had lain two
hundred years in his tomb, he should tri-
umph again on the stage, and have his bones
new embalmed with the tears of ten thou-
sand spectators at least (at several times),
who, in the tragedian that represents his
person, imagine they behold him fresh
bleeding." The most captious critics grant
to Shakespeare these scenes of an old play
refashioned by his hand and raised to an
immediate and overwhelming popularity.
The Elizabethan play-goer with unerring
instinct singled out for his signal approval
the great dramas of Kyd and Marlowe and
the unsurpassable work of the master play-
The lists of Henslowe exhibit many titles
similar to those borne by plays of Shake-
speare. We meet with an Adronicus, a
" Venesyons [Femce's^ comodey^ a " Seser and
Pompey,'' and a ** Harry the V!' Neither
identity of title nor sameness of plot need
Plays in the Making 165
mislead the reader of Elizabethan litera-
ture, who soon learns that there are some
half dozen plays, Latin and English, on
Julius Caesar and on Richard the Third,
three Romeos and Antonies, and at least
two Hamlets, Timons, and Lears. When a
character caught the public fancy, his story
was followed up in a second play, at times
even in a third. It is thus that the career of
the ideal Englishman of action. King Henry
the Fifth, is carried out in the trilogy of the
two parts of Henry the Fourth and Henry
the Fifth. Falstaff, a great popular favor-
ite, runs through the same three dramas to
appear once more in the Merry Wives of
Windsor^ according to a pleasing tradition
upon the express wish of the Queen to be-
hold the fat knight in love. But not only
was a success of this kind followed up by
those who had wrought it, it was emu-
lated by humbler rivals in the imitation
of the subjects, personages, and situations of
1 66 Plays in the Making
the successful drama. The character of Fal-
stafF was originally represented under the
name of Sir John Oldcastle, a dissolute com-
panion (not otherwise distinguished) of the
wild young prince in an old play on the
Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth. Shake-
speare at first retained the name Oldcastle,
as appears from certain traces in the quarto
edition of Henry the Fourth and from the
prince's punning reply to FalstaflF's ques-
tion : " Is not my hostess of the tavern a
most sweet wench ? — As the honey of Hy-
bla, my old lad of the castle." Shakespeare
afterwards substituted the name FalstafF, as
better fitted to "the gross knight'* than
that of Oldcastle, the illustrious Lollard
of history. On the basis of these circum-
stances and the great popularity of Henry
the Fourth^ Henslowe procured the writing
by several of his poets of a play called the
First Part of Sir John Oldcastle, in which
ostentatious justice is done to the memory
Plays in the Making
of the famous old Lollard, and we are in-
formed in the prologue :
It is no pamperM glutton we present,
Nor aged counsellor to youthful sin,
But one whose virtues shone above the rest,
A valiant martyr and a virtuous peer.
In this play King Henry may be seen
once more in contact incognito with the low
life of London, robbed of his purse and
winning back his loss from the thief with
dice on a drum-head. And here, too, a di-
rect bid is made to rival the popularity of
FalstafF in the person of a witty, knavish
priest. Sir John, the Parson of Wrotham.
Sir John Oldcastle is a readable play yet,
and shows what four clever men — among
them no less a person than Michael Dray-
ton, the author of the Polyolbion — could do
to stem for the moment the overwhelm-
ing current of Shakespeare's popularity.
What Shakespeare received in money for
a single play we have no means of learning ;
Plays in the Making
we know that he came to London a poor
lad and retired with a handsome compe-
tence some twenty years later, realizing the
greatest fortune which had been made out
of literature directly or indirectly until we
come to the golden days of Scott and his
Waverley Novels, As to Shakespeare's rivals
in the thraldom of Henslowe, it appears that
a play might be purchased of Chettle or
Hey wood for as small a sum as four or six
pounds, while Chapman, Dekker, or Jon-
son might demand as much as ten or eleven
pounds and get it. The disparity between
the price of a play and the cost of staging
it has often been dilated upon. For while
properties and scenes in the modern accep-
tation of that term were few and simple,
the costumes of the actors were often of
great richness and costliness. It has been
related that Heywood received less for his
wholly admirable A Woman Killed with
Kindness than the company laid out for the
Plays in the Making
gown of the heroine, and that the costumes
and caparisons of a play called Cardinal
Wolsey must have reached a total of more
than two hundred pounds. When a play
was very successful, as was Oldcastle^ men-
tioned above, Henslowe occasionally opened
his heart and presented the authors with a
gratuity. Ten shillings was thus distributed
among the four authors of that play, and
this ridiculous sum may be regarded as the
height of Henslowe's bounty on these occa-
sions. Even such matters are duly charged
to the company by their thrifty manager,
as appears from such an entry as this :
" Layd owt for the company, at the mer-
mayd, when we weare at owre agrement,
the 21 of aguste 1602, toward our super,
the sum of ix'."
In this mart of Henslowe's some of the
greatest dramatists served their apprentice-
ship to the trade. The old manager was a
notable respecter of persons where fortune
lyo Plays in the Making
or success was concerned. Chapman, who
was born a gentleman, is generally referred
to in the Diary as " Mr. Chapman," as is
" Mr. Maxton [Marston] the newe poete ;''
but "Harey Chettell," " Samwell Rowley,''
and " Thomas Dickers " were not usually
treated with such a show of respect. The
greater men came out of this thraldom,
Jonson to the post of laureate and enter-
tainer of the Court, Chapman to fame as
the great translator of Homer. It is not to
be wondered that Drayton, when the pa-
tronage of ''great ones" and his talents as a
poet had raised him to repute, tried to cover
up the disgraceful time of his bondage to
Henslowe and refrained from avowing the
authorship of any work written under such
blighting conditions. As to the lesser men,
many of them died, as they had lived, with
the clutch of Henslowe and poverty at their
WHEN MUSIC AND SWEET
When Music and Sweet
If Music and sweet Poetry agree,
As they must needs, the Sister and the Brother,
Then must the love be great 'twixt thee and me.
Because thou lov'st the one and I the other.
Dowland to thee is dear, whose heavenly touch
Upon the Lute doth ravish human sense ;
Spenser to me, whose deep conceit is such.
As passing all conceit, needs no defence.
Thou lov'st to hear the sweet melodious sound.
That Phoebus* lute, the queen of music, makes ;
And I in deep delight am chiefly drowned,
Whenas himself to singing he betakes.
One god is god of both, as poets feign ;
One knight loves both, and both in thee remain.
174 When Music and
IT was thus that one of the most tuneful
of EHzabethan lyrists, Richard Barn-
field, addressed a bosom friend. Nor
can we wonder, considering Shakespeare's
love of the sister art of music and the ex-
cellence of this sonnet, that it has passed
current, until lately, as the work of the
master dramatist himself. Shakespeare's age
was nothing if not musical. No gentleman's
or lady's education was complete without a
knowledge of plain-song and a competent
skill on cittern or lute, on the recorder or
the *Wiol de gamboys," all of them popu-
lar musical instruments of the day. To be
unable to bear a part in singing at sight or
to " descant," as it was called, on a simple
melody, was to imperil the genuineness of
a man's gentility ; and not to know Byrd,
Morley, or Campion, the composers, and
Dowland, the famous lutenist, was to be-
tray oneself uncultured indeed. Even among
the middle and lower classes, the carter had
Sweet Poetry agree 175
his catches, the tinker his rounds ; the very
beggars sang ballads in the streets and so
proverbially expert were the weavers in
sweet singing that " to draw a soul out of
a weaver " was to sing beyond criticism and
comparison. There was music at the thea-
tres, at Court, and at home ; music out-doors
and in church. The dawn was ushered
in with " hunts-ups '' and *' aubades," and
the night rendered melodious with *'seras''
and serenades. There were ballads for daily
singing, carols for Christmas, " dumps " for
despondency, and merry burdens for May-
day. Foundlings were trained in the art of
song that from their musical abilities they
might the more readily procure places as
servants. A fool with **a good breast,'' as a
fine voice was then called, might demand
a noble for his patron. Royalty set this
musical example. Aside from the singing
children of her chapel and the occasional
musicians that figured at court entertain-
176 When Music and
ments and plays, " Elizabeth was accus-
tomed/' we are told, "to be regaled dur-
ing dinner with twelve trumpets and two
kettle-drums ; which together with fifes,
cornets and side drums, made the hall ring
for half an hour together." Nor was "the
Queenes noise," as the quaint phrase went,
always equally robust. Elizabeth loved
song and was herself " well seene " in the
virginals, an instrument, through spinet and
harpsichord, to develop into the modern
pianoforte. The Queen's father before her
had written songs and sung in his own
Modern musicians sometimes set beauti-
ful lyrics to music ; but for the most part
we esteem any stuff good enough to sing.
Such was not the Elizabethan feeling; and
it was conceived not only that a poem might
be clothed in a fitting or unfitting raiment
of song, but that a lovely air deserved to
carry fair freight on its clear and liquid
Sweet Poetry agree 177
stream ; for, to vary the figure, it was a
conviction that out of the v^edded arts a
completer beauty might arise. The lyric,
when all has been said, is cousin-german
to vocal song, and many an Elizabethan
lyrist thought doubtless as he wrote that
his poetry would be sung as well as read.
" These poems,'' prints old Gascoigne in
a marginal note to his Posies, *'have verie
sweete notes adapted unto them, the which
I would you should also enjoy as well as
myself.'' But the Elizabethan stopped not
at lyrics, but set other forms of poetry to
music. Thus Robert Southwell, the Jesuit
father, proposed that his fervid, if ingen-
iously *' conceited," poetry should be sung;
and so late as 1622 John Hanay, a very
small and obscure poetling, furnished music
for the first stanza of his poem Philomela,
with the evident and unabashed intent that
the remaining ninety and nine stanzas be
sung, all to the same tune. Nor was this so
178 When Music and
very eccentric ; narrative poems of consider-
able length must have been popularly sung
far into literary times. Sir Philip Sidney
writes in his Defence of Poesie : " I never
heard the old song of Percy and Douglas
\Chevy C/iase^, that I found not my heart
moved more than with a trumpet ; and
yet it is sung by some blind crowder,
with no rougher voice than rude style/'
And the rhetorical courtier, Puttenham,
declares : " The over busy and too speedy
return of one manner of tune doth too
much annoy and, as it were, glut the ear,
unless it be small and popular musics sung
by those Cantabanqui upon benches and
barrel heads, where they have none other
audience than boys and country fellows
that pass by them in the street ; or else
by blind harpers, or such like tavern min-
strels that give a fit of mirth for a groat ;
and their matter being for the most part
stories of old time, as the T^ale of Sir
Sweet Poetry agree 179
ThopaSy Bevis of Southampton, Guy of War-
wicky Adam Bell, and Clym of the Clough,
and such other old romances or historical
rimes, made purposely for the amuse-
ment of the common people at Christmas
dinners, and bride-ales, and in taverns and
alehouses, and such other places of base
The modern practitioner in music who
makes his living by the practical teaching
of his art and professes — perhaps knows
— - nothing of the science of counterpoint,
must have been entirely unknown to the
age of Elizabeth. Or, if known, he was
probably regarded in the category with
fencing and dancing masters. Indeed the
piper, fiddler, or other common musician
was held in great contempt. Mercutio
meets Tybalt's taunt, " Thou consort'st
with Romeo," with the rejoinder : " Con-
sort ! What, dost thou make us minstrels ?
And thou make minstrels of us, look for
When Music and
nothing but discords : here 's my fiddle-
stick ; here 's that shall make you dance.
Zounds, consort ! '' And Prince Hal is re-
lated to have once broken FalstafF's head
for likening his father, the King, to " a
singing-man of Windsor." On the other
hand famous performers on the lute and
other instruments there were, and some of
these were held in high repute. Some of
them even travelled abroad to foreign
courts to exhibit their English skill. Apart
from mere " cantabanqui '' and minstrels,
the Elizabethan musician was a man of re-
finement and learning, versed in ancient
lore as well as modern art, and claiming,
like the Elizabethan poet, the University as
The popularity of song-books in this
era was extraordinary and unexampled, ex-
tending, should a list be made, to some
seventy titles between the date of the Ar-
mada and that of the death of Shakespeare.
Sweet Poetry agree
There were fashions in poetry as well as in
the costume of the time, and both were
quick to rise and quick to fall. In the
eighties poetry was " all for pastorals/' and
''that smooth song, ' Come live with me
and be my love,' which was made by Kit
Marlowe," is the measure at once of a quaint
taste and a perfect achievement in its dainty
kind. In the nineties came the sonneteers
with their sugared similitudes, a cult of
Petrarch, beauty and '* conceit ; " artificial
and repetitious for the most part, yet reach-
ing real passion in Sidney, supreme beauty in
Spenser, and sounding depths beyond mere
passing fashion, if not beyond all other
lyrical poetry, in the superlative sonnets of
Shakespeare. With the waning of the popu-
larity of the sonnet, the writing of words
intended to be set to music succeeded as
the lyrical vogue in England, and was long
to continue so.
" I endeavored to get into my hands all
i82 When Music and
such English songs as were praiseworthy,
and amongst others I had the happiness to
find in the hands of some of my friends
certain Itahan madrigals translated most
of them five year ago by a gentleman for
his private delight." Thus writes Nicholas
Yong, a London merchant in 1588, an
enthusiastic collector of ^* songs in part,"
whose house was musical with their fre-
quent performance, and who employed his
correspondents in Italy to seek out and send
him the compositions of Marenzio, Con-
verso, and other Italian writers of vocal
The Elizabethan song-book supplied
both music and words, and was often so
printed that three or four singers might sit
on opposite sides of a small table, placing
the book open before them, and sing each
from his own part, all printed on the same
page. The secular song-book was made up
usually of madrigals or of **ayres." An ayre
Sweet Poetry agree 183
was a simple musical composition for one
voice or more accompanied by instruments ;
a madrigal was a far more complicated
affair. Not only was the madrigal written
for voices alone, but it was contrapuntal,
that is, based on an elaborate system of
themes and counter-themes interwoven and
entwined, of which the suites of Scarlotti
and Palestrina and the fugues of John
Sebastian Bach are later examples. It was
thus that Thomas Morley commented on
the structure of the madrigal : " As for
the music, it is, next unto the motet, the
most artificial and to men of understand-
ing the most delightful. If therefore you
will compose in this kind you must possess
yourself with an amorous humor, (for in
no composition shall you prove admirable
except you put on and possess yourself
wholly with that vein wherein you com-
pose) so that you must in your music be
wavering like the wind, sometimes wanton,
When Music and
sometimes drooping, sometime grave and
staid, otherwhile effeminate ; you may retain
points and revert them, use tri-plays and
show the uttermost of your variety, and the
more variety you show the better shall you
But if the music of the madrigal was
elaborate, the words were simplicity itself.
A tiny gem of verse is the madrigal, con-
veying one thought directly and daintily
expressed in a succession of equal sentences.
Its very words are in the nature of song.
Faustina hath the fairer face,
And Phyllida the feater grace ;
Both have mine eye enriched :
This sings full sweetly with her voice ;
Her fingers make as sweet a noise :
Both have mine ear bewitched.
Ah me ! sith Fates have so provided,
My heart, alas, must be divided.
At times the madrigal contains much of
the essence of the epigram, as in Michael
Sweet Poetry agree
Drayton's lines addressed to Morley, the
celebrated composer mentioned above :
Such was old Orpheus' cunning.
That senseless things drew near him,
And herds of beasts to hear him.
The stock, the stone, the ox, the ass, came running.
Morley, but this enchanting
To thee, to be the music god, is wanting ;
And yet thou needst not fear him ;
Draw thou the shepherds still, and bonny lasses.
And envy him not stocks, stones, oxen, asses.
But it is not to be supposed that the free
Elizabethan Muse was long to be confined
in such gossamer trammels as these. Sidney
had already written the lines, " My true
love hath my heart," so charming in their
simplicity, and in Shakespeare's " Take,
O take, those lips away," and " Full fathom
five my father lies," we have more exqui-
site words for the madrigal (albeit freer in
form) than all the Italian poets could con-
trive among them.
The ayre afforded a freer and happier
1 86 When Music and
union of the arts than did the madrigal
with its contrapuntal music and its brief
range of words and ideas. The Elizabethan
ayre set to the successive stanzas of a fine
lyric must be regarded as the highest tri-
umph of combined musical and poetic art.
And lovely as the enchanting words of the
best lyrics are — those in the song-books
of Campion, Jones, Morley, Hume, Wil-
son, and many more — they were not un-
worthily set. Some of the music has been
preserved by Chappell and others. It seems
to us quaint and old-fashioned, for music
changes more rapidly than poetry, and is
more conventional in its temporary modes
and passing mannerisms. And yet there is
often a pleasing cadence about these old
tunes, which, taken all in all, do not seem
more old-fashioned than the ruffs, the
farthingales, and the falling bands which
characterized the costumes of our English
Sweet Poetry agree 187
These old musicians must have been
an interesting class, with their University
breeding, their practice of the learned and
intricate counterpoint of the day, and their
foreign and courtly associations. William
Byrd, the Queen's instructor on the virgi-
nals, held for some years a monopoly of
the music published, out of which he seems
to have made less than Raleigh contrived to
obtain out of his monopoly of sweet wines.
Thomas Morley of the Chapel Royal, a
prolific writer of secular music, as seven or
eight books of his attest, is ever memor-
able as one of the earliest composers of
music to Shakespeare's perfect songs. It
was Morley, we are told, who set " It was
a lover and his lass" to a tune which has a
lilt and a freshness which time has been
little able to impair. A third musician of
great repute in his day as a lutenist was
John Dowland, immortalized in the sonnet,
"In praise of Music and sweet Poetry,"
1 88 When Music and
already quoted above. There may be seen
the estimation in which music was held in
the comparison of Dowland's repute to that
of Spenser in poetry. Dowland was one of
those that carried the fame of English mu-
sicians to the continent. He was lutenist at
various times to the Landgrave of Hesse, to
the King of Denmark, and to other noble
and royal patrons. It is interesting to find
the Landgrave addressing Dowland in terms
of respectful consideration, denoting a re-
cognition of that equality with princes
which the mastery of a fine art can at times
confer. Dowland appears to have been a
victim of what we now call '* the artistic
temperament,'' through which he became
an object of deep sympathy and concern to
himself and a sore trial, doubtless, to all
A difference of opinion has arisen as to
whether the composers of madrigals and
ayres were usually the authors of the words
Sweet Poetry agree
of their songs or not. Mr. Bullen, a pio-
neer in the recognition and collection of
the lyrics of Elizabeth's age, is of opinion
that " the composers are responsible only
for the music." Whereas Mr. Davey, the
author of an excellent history of music,
says : *' It appears to me that as a rule the
tunes and the poetry were simultaneously
conceived. I ground this belief on the de-
tailed parallelism in the metre of the suc-
cessive stanzas in the ayres through v^^hich
the same music affects them all." There
seems something in this ; although another
argument might be found in the uniform-
ity of the poetical style which often ac-
companies the musical works of the same
composer. In the works of the greatest
man of this class, Thomas Campion, we
are certain that the two arts were fittingly
and indissolubly wedded. As to the lesser
lights, it matters very little, though I should
like to be sure that Robert Jones and Cap-
igo When Music and
tain Tobias Hume are the delightful poets
which the words to the songs in their books
would indicate if they wrote them. Mr.
Bullen has picked out the following perfect
stanza to form the text for one of his vol-
umes of lyrics :
Love ! they wrong thee much
That say thy sweet is bitter,
When thy rich fruit is such
As nothing can be sweeter.
Fair house of joy and bliss,
Where truest pleasure is,
I do adore thee :
1 know thee what thou art,
I serve thee with my heart
And fall before thee.
Alas that a man who could write like this
should remain forever a flitted shade and
mere simulacrum of departed glory. Could
Captain Tobias Hume have wielded his
sword as his pen he could scarcely have
left the world a more consummate swords-
man. Quite as perfect for the music of
Sweet Poetry agree 191
their words are such lines as these, half
whimsical, half daintily serious :
How many new years have grown old
Since first thy servant old was new !
How many long hours have I told
Since first my love was vowed to you !
And yet, alas ! she doth not know
Whether her servant love or no.
This stanza is from one of the songs of
Robert Jones's Garden of Delight, a book
now hopelessly lost. Doubtless many a jewel
choice as this, with much that was weightier
if less precious, has fallen a prey to " envi-
ous and calumniating Time."
When all has been said, we find in
Thomas Campion the most notable example
of the poet-musician. As to him, at least,
there can be no doubt, for he writes con-
cerning his own song-books : " Some words
are in these books which have been clothed
in music by others, and I am content they
then served their turn : yet give me leave to
192 When Music and
make use of mine own/' In a similar ad-
dress prefixed to his 'Third Book of Ay res ^
he adds : " In these English ayres I have
chiefly aimed to couple my words and notes
lovingly together, which will be much for
him to do that hath not power over both."
A member of Gray's Inn in his youth, a
distinguished practitioner of the sister art
of medicine in his maturer years. Campion
was esteemed for his Latin poetry and for
his English music ; for his critical theories
wherein he sought to turn English poetry
back into the well-worn channels of the
classics ; and for the admirable practice with
which he confuted these theories in his
beautiful English lyrical verse. Campion
was a very accomplished man and held an
honored place among contemporary musi-
cians alike for his compositions and for his
excellent treatise on counterpoint. Although
a conservative as to prosody, Campion was
remarkably liberal as to music and wrote
Sweet Poetry agree 193
ayres in preference to madrigals of set pur-
pose. He says : *' What epigrams are in
poetry, the same are ayres in music ; then
in their chief perfection when they are
short and well seasoned. But to cloy a
sweet song with a long preludium is to
corrupt the nature of it."
The poetry of Campion is saturated with
Catullus and it shares in the Roman poet's
sweetness, sensuousness, and mellifluous flow
of musical words. Campion is not wholly
a poet of love, although he lavishes on
Venus's altars his richest and loveliest fruits.
There is a purity and simple childlike fer-
vor, a genuine singing quality and happy
mastery of phrase in the more serious of
his songs that raise Campion measurably
above the chorus of amourists and dainty
gilded sonneteers who rise and fall in a
singing swarm among the sallows of the
Elizabethan garden of Love,
But this pure and natural union of lyr-
194 When Music and
ical poetry and song was not the only unity
of the arts attempted in this ingenious time.
True the opera was as yet in embryo in
far-away Italy, the home of beauty and of
many perversions thereof. Florentine Peri
and Caccini, seeking quixotically to resur-
rect and rejuvenate the dead Muse of Greek
tragedy, had invented modern opera, " the
anarchy of the arts '* as Schlegel was later
to call it. Campion might have known
the authors of Dafne and Euridicey both of
which were presented in Florence before
Elizabeth had ceased to reign. Whether
the English composer knew le nuove mu-
siche, may be questioned, although his atti-
tude of preference for the ayre over the
older scientific music was precisely that of
the early Italian writers of opera. The
English masque, too, attempted this union
of arts, and keeping sound ever subser-
vient to the sense of sight, with dancing,
artistic grouping and costuming, combined
Sweet Poetry agree 195
the earthly Muse of comedy with the spir-
itual Muse of song. When Jonson wrote a
masque for Court he called in the aid of
Inigo Jones, the royal architect, who devised
the scenes, decorations, and costumes and,
with the practical assistance of '* the King's
master carpenter,'' contrived the mechani-
cal devices for change and effect. For the
music, Jonson resorted to " his excellent
friend, Alphonso Ferrabosco," the English-
born son of a celebrated Italian composer
of Henry the Eighth's Court of the same
name, whose works, whether in song or in-
strumental, were of equal repute in his day.
The music of the masque was of great
variety, now descriptive with pipe and tabor
or drum and trumpet ; now arranged in
"consorts," as the harmony of instruments
of one kind was called ; now " broken," as
the mingling of various instruments or in-
struments with voices was described. It
would be difficult to conceive of a man
196 When Music and
better fitted than Campion, by nature and
by study, for the devising of such minglings
of the arts. Characteristically, as a musi-
cian. Campion begins the description of
his Masque at the Marriage of the Lord Hayes
with an account of the music. The great
hall, wherein the masque was presented, he
tells us, " received this division and order.
The upper part, where the cloth and chair
of state were placed, had scaffolds and seats
on either side continued to the screen ; right
before it was a partition for the dancing-
place ; on the right hand whereof were con-
sorted ten musicians, with bass and mean
lutes, a bandora, a double sackbut, and an
harpsichord, with two treble violins; on
the other side somewhat nearer the screen
were placed nine violins and three lutes,
and to answer both the consorts (as it were
in a triangle), six cornets and six chapel
voices were seated almost right against
them, in a place raised higher in respect of
Sweet Poetry agree
the piercing sound of those instruments ;
eighteen foot from the screen another stage
was raised higher by a yard than that which
was prepared for dancing. This higher
stage was all enclosed with a double veil,
so artificially painted, that it seemed as if
dark clouds had hung before it : within
that shroud was concealed a green valley,
with green trees about it, and in the midst
of them nine golden trees of fifteen foot
high, with arms and branches very glorious
In the great variety of songs that followed,
much was made of the differences in posi-
tion of the various bands or consorts of
musicians and in the contrasted qualities,
combinations and volume of the instruments
and voices ; and the songs — many of them
lyrics of great beauty — were variously set
for solos, answering duets, and choruses,
accompanied or free. Thus **four Sylvans "
played on their musical instruments the first
198 When Music and
strain of a song by way of prelude, "and
at the repetition thereof the voices fell in
with the instruments which were thus di-
vided : a treble and a bass were placed near
his Majesty, and another treble and bass
near the grove, that the words of the song
might first be heard of all, because the trees
of gold instantly at the first sound of their
voices began to move and dance accord-
ing to the measure of the time which the
musicians kept in singing, and the nature
of the words which they delivered." Little
by little the trees sank out of sight, " a
matter effected," we are informed, " by an
engine placed under the stage," and out of
them emerged the noble dancers ; for be
it remembered that one of the joys of the
masque consisted in the circumstance that it
was not a performance wholly to be looked
at, but that the noblest lords and the fairest
ladies were partakers in its dazzling scenes
and graceful figures, and even royalty in
Sweet Poetry agree 199
the persons of the Queen, Princes and Prin-
cesses condescended at times to bear a part.
The climax of this masque Campion thus
describes: *'This chorus was in the manner
of an echo, seconded by the cornets, then
by the consort of ten, then by the consort
of twelve, and by a double chorus of voices
standing on either side, the one against
[that is, opposite to] the other, bearing five
voices apiece, and sometime every chorus
was heard severally, sometime mixed, but
in the end all together : which kind of har-
mony so distinguished by the place [that
is, position], and by the several nature of
instruments and changeable conveyance of
the song, and performed by so many ex-
cellent masters as were actors in that mu-
sic, (their number amounting to forty-two
voices and instruments) could not but yield
great satisfaction to the hearers."
In these days of grand opera and of musical
festivals punctuated with cannon. Campion's
2 00 Music and Poetry
musical masque seems but a small affair.
It was successful and amazingly novel for
its age ; and who shall say that the Eliza-
bethan's ideal to wed music and lyrical verse,
environed in scenic beauty and illustrated
by the poetry of motion, differed so very
widely from the Wagnerian dream where-
in that lordly bridegroom, the drama of
Shakespeare, was to lead to an indissoluble
marriage before the altar of all the arts, his
bride the heaven-born music of Beethoven ?
THALIA IN OXFORD
Thalia in Oxford
ENGLAND had adored mummings, pa-
geants, and interludes for genera-
tions when Elizabeth came to her
throne. There had been, time out of mind,
disguisings and masquings on high days and
holidays, puppets in booths at fairs, and
"bride-ales" as the commoner wedding fes-
tivities were called, theatricals in barns, inn-
yards, and on London streets. Before the
reign was half over, if a murder was com-
mitted, it was staged for a warning. Had a
continental city been besieged or a foreign
political criminal fallen, all was arranged for
the boards before it was stale in the mem-
204 Thalia in Oxford
ories of men. But this popular side of the
drama is far from all. Parallel to the great
drama which the names of Marlowe and
Shakespeare adorned and carried home to
the hearts of common men, ran a scholar's
and a courtier's drama, earlier and more
august in its originals, equally tenacious of
its more conservative ideals, and equally po-
tent in its influences on contemporary times
and on times to come. This scholar's and
courtier's drama claimed the earliest of the
great English playwrights wholly for its
own ; and the name which ranks next to
Shakespeare's was two thirds of its making.
For Lyly and Jonson were alike purveyors
of amusement to nobility and royalty. And
even when, under newer influences, the
Court drama failed, and the succeeding
masque, a union of the arts of Thalia, Eu-
terpe, and Terpsichore, was waning in the
glare of Puritanism, which unveiled, like
day, the tawdry unrealities of the stage,
"Thalia in Oxford 20
the Universities cherished the old traditions
and continued to perform primitive trage-
dies that Sackville might have disdained,
and comedies the crude classicality of which
would have moved the seasoned comedians
of London to derisive laughter.
Not that there were not notable triumphs
among the university plays both Latin and
English. Ezechias, written in English verse
in the fifties by Nicholas Udall, the au-
thor of Ralph Roister Doister, the first Eng-
lish comedy, was so "handled by King's
College men " that a learned Welsh prelate
declared it " worthy for a queen to behold."
Nashe and Harington combined to praise
the Richardus Tertius of Dr. Legge, who to
his dramatic honors added the distinction
of being twice chosen Vice-Chancellor of
Cambridge. Oxford Bellum Grammaticale
and Cambridge Pedantius remained for
years approved and praised as models of
university comedy, and shared with Igno-
2o6 Thalia in Oxford
ramus (which was even translated into
English that the vulgar might share in its
choice university wit) a popularity which
lasted through a couple of generations.
The drama had been a passion with the Hu-
manists, who flourished throughout the Eu-
rope of Charles the Fifth and the Borgias.
Ralph Radcliffe, a schoolmaster of Hert-
fordshire, transformed the refectory of the
old monastery in which he held his school
into a veritable theatre, wherein his stu-
dents acted plays of his composing for the
strengthening of their memories and the
betterment of their Latinity. George Bu-
chanan, grave historian and tutor to Mary
Queen of Scots and her son. King James,
wrote Latin plays for his students when a
teacher in the new college at Boulogne, and
the young Montaigne is related to have
acted in them. Whilst excellent John Pals-
grave (in his zeal for learning) transmuted
Acolastus, a Latin comedy of a famous
Thalia in Oxford 207
Dutch scholar often performed by school-
boys, into a text-book from which to learn
Latin, translating each scene, interpreting
the characters, the style, and the metres of
the author as a Latin classic, "not only," he
said, " for because I esteem that little vol-
ume to be a very curious and artificial com-
pacted nosegay, gathered out of the much
excellent and odoriferous sweet-smelling
garden of the most pure Latin authors, but
also because the maker thereof — as far as
I can learn — is yet living, whereby I would
be glad to move into the hearts of your
Grace's clerks some little grain of honest
and virtuous envy."
In fine, it had long been the custom of
the grammar schools, the colleges, and Inns
of Court to invent devices, to hold revels
and entertainments, to revive Roman com-
edies or perform original plays, and to live
in an atmosphere of invention, rehearsal,
and persistent theatrical activity. At times
2o8 Thalia in Oxford
these attacks of dramatic craze extended
through protracted periods, and play after
play was performed, the whole combined
by means of an elaborate connecting cere-
monial. Thus in the year 1 594 the students
of Gray's Inn ** betwixt AU-HoUantide
and Christmas " carried on a series of fes-
tivities before their self-elected " Prince of
Purpoole " which, although " the rather to
be preferred by witty inventions than by
chargeable expenses,'' must have been as
sumptuous as they were novel and elaborate.
What with a ^'family and followers" of
upwards of a hundred ^' nobles and attend-
ants," each bearing his part, what with the
coronation, the receptions of " homagers
and tributaries," proclamations, revels, the
arguments before the throne on the ex-
ercise of war or the study of philosophy,
with other orations, letters " from abroad,"
the replies of his Majesty, the founding of
royal orders of knighthood, and the per-
Ti'halia in Oxford
formance of three complete and difficult
masques — some conception may be formed
of the magnitude, elaborated ceremonial,
and the curious particulars of the Gesta
Grayorum as the whole function was called.
The masques were by Beaumont, Chapman,
and Campion, all recognized poets in their
day ; and in the final entertainment Queen
Elizabeth herself was " Prince Purpoole's "
But it is with a somewhat less known
period of dramatic craze that we are now
concerned ; and with Oxford, not Gray's
Inn. In an interesting manuscript still pre-
served in the Library of St. John's College,
one Griffin Higgs, evidently a student who
was in the midst of it all, has left us an
account of a series of festivities, dramatic
in kind, which starting, so far as the ar-
rangements were concerned, early in Octo-
ber, 1607, were continued until Lent put
a stop to the hilarity. During this period a
Thalia in Oxford
sort of theatrical contagion spread from
gownsmen to the town, and from the
freshmen, who had a simple farce of their
own in English, to the Dons, who gravely
enacted matter didactic in the learned
The whole thing began at St. John's
among " the poulderings " or students of
the second year, who, ascertaining that
thirty years before similar festivities had
been held, determined to emulate the past.
First of all a Christmas Prince was chosen
who issued under his royal seal, in such
Latin as the combined learning of " the
poulderings'' could muster, solemn procla-
mations of various kinds, chiefly concerned
with the raising of revenue. For the
Prince's instalment "a schollarlike device
called Ara Fortuna " was given. The inter-
locutors were Princeps, Philosophus, Rus-
ticus, and Stultus and the language was
evidently Latin. This play was not given
T^halia in Oxford
on a stage but on the tables of the refec-
tory or dining-hall set closely together.
The applause was so vociferous at one point
that it brought down the canopy of For-
tune ; but, says Higgs, *' it was cleanly sup-
ported by some of the standers by till the
company was voided/' The play is not
given in the manuscript, " because of its
The next performance was ** a private
shewe in the manner of an interlude con-
taining the order of Saturnalls, and shew-
ing the first cause of Christmas candles."
The characters were Hercules, Curius, and
Doulus. "This shew," naively remarks our
student informant, " was very well liked of
ourselves." Two days later, it being St.
John's Day, a masque with a morris dance
was given in the afternoon, and in the even-
ing a second masque entitled the Twelve
Days, " the holy-daies speaking Latin and
the working daies English." The Tragedy
Thalia in Oxford
of Philomela was booked for December the
twenty-ninth, but there was much trouble
in getting it ready and when all was done,
unhappily, ** the Prince himselfe, who was
to play Tereus, had got such an exceeding
cold that it was impossible for him to speak,
or speaking to be heard/' "At length it was
concluded that in case the Prince should
not hold out, that then the author of the
tragedy, who was best acquainted with it
and could say most of the verses, should go
forward." Fortunately the Prince's voice
" held out '' and the tragedy was a great
success. " Itys was much wondered at for
speaking Latin, because he was so little in
his long coat that he was taken to be a
child but of seven or eight years old."
The performance of New Year's Day was
" a shew called Times Complaint T The piece
was badly given. The Prologue forgot his
lines and " Goodwife Spiggott [one of the
characters] coming forth before her time,
Thalia in Oxford 213
was most miserably at a non plus and made
others so also, whilst herself stalked in the
midst like a great Harry lyon as it pleased
the audience to term it, either saying no-
thing at all or nothing to the purpose."
The drunken man too, " who in the repe-
titions had much pleased and done very
well, was now so ambitious of his actions
that he would needes make his part much
longer than it was, and stood so long upon
it all that he grew tedious." " Expecta-
tion," says our young student with a sigh,
" the devourer of all good endeavours, has
swallowed more in the very name and title
of this interlude than was either provided
or intended in the whole matter. We our-
selves thought not so ill of it as others,
neither will future times, we hope, judge
it so vile as the present did." How wise a
dispensation it is that authorship and mo-
therhood are alike blind and dote often-
times on the least favored of their weans !
2 14 "Thalia in Oxford
On counting the cost of Time's Complaint,
our young adventurers discovered to their
dismay that the exchequer of his Majesty
was running low. Therefore a proclama-
tion, egregious alike in its solemnity and
its Latinity, was promulgated whereby his
Majesty's liege subjects were adjured to pay
the charges, and assessed in proportion to
their dignities, a freshman two shillings, a
On the tenth of January two private
" shews " were given in the lodgings of St.
John's. The first was called Somnium Fun-
datoris, and concerned matters traditionary
in the history of the college ; the other was
a mock play entitled the Seven Days of the
Week, Besides the Days, the " clarke of St.
Gyles," a woman, and a pair of snuffers
figured amongst the dramatis personce or the
properties, which shall we say ? This play
is given in the manuscript and, while but
a slight piece of fooling, is far from devoid
Thalia in Oxford
of wit. " Enter Sunday Night, cum Luna et
aliis pertinentiis'' reminds us of Bottom's fa-
mous scratch company where Starveling or
Snug is advised to " come in with a bush
of thorns and a lanthorn and say he comes
to disfigure or to present the person of
Moonshine." The Seven Days of the Week
was written for younger boys "who could
not do serious things." It went in conse-
quence so well that it was repeated publicly
by request a few days later.
Here his "Highness" was constrained to
descend to asking the Dons for an extension
of his rule, and they granted him seven
more days. On the fifteenth of January a
Latin play entitled Philomanthes was acted
with great applause, the audience crying
again and again, ^^ Abunde satisf actum est ! ''
and giving other signs of encouragement.
The subsequent performances were a Tule-
tide Melody of Christmas Sports, whatever
that may have been, a Vigilate on Candlemas
"Thalia in Oxford
Night preceded by a mock proclamation
and a masque " sudden and extempore/' a
"shew'' by the masters and officers "in
mete and semely Latin phrase," a masque
of Penelope s Wooers ^ and lastly, on Shrove
Tuesday, on a great stage, the masque of
the Prince's resignation entitled Ira seu Tu-
mulus Fortune, "The stage," says our scribe,
" was never so oppressed with company, in
so much that it was verily thought that it
would not be performed that night for want
of room ; but the audience was so favorable
as to stand as close and yield as much back
as was possible," and hence the masque was
Although the Prince had now given up
his rule, the theatrical spirit was still ram-
pant at Oxford, and as an English tragedy
was almost ready, argument arose as to
whether it should be acted or not. Against
its presentation it was argued that Lent
was approaching and enough attention had
Thalia in Oxford 217
already been bestowed on performances
which, when all had been said in their
favor, were little better than toys. More-
over it was credibly reported that the in-
tended play was written in English, "a
language unfit for the University." After
protracted and heated argument both objec-
tions were finally overruled, and Periander
was given, with a very large cast, by the pick
of the long-trained actors of St. John's.
Profiting by their former troublesome ex-
perience, " the stage was kept void of all
company.'' " It is almost incredible," says
our enthusiastic devotee of Melpomene, " to
think how well this tragedy was performed
of all parties." One of the characters was
called Detraction, and was placed, accord-
ing to a familiar device of the contempo-
rary stage, in the audience. He played his
part so well that '* he was like to have been
beaten for his sauciness." Another actor,
who played the part of Periander, when
2i8 Thalia in Oxford
about to kill his daughter Eugenia, *' did
not so couch his dagger with his hand but
that he pricked her through all her attire.
But, as God would have it,'' piously adds
our informant, " it was only a scratch, and
so it passed.'' As only a small part of the
Oxonians could be accommodated with
standing room within the hall, several un-
ruly spirits — rival poulderings, no doubt
— raised what our friend Higgs called " a
tumult, without the windows." Where-
upon " the whifflers made a raid upon them
with their swords and drove the crowd out
of the precincts, imprisoning some until
after the play was over."
Such was the violence of this attack of
theatro-mania that we hear of yet other
productions, by their authors and actors in-
tended. A Controversy of Irus and his ragged
company, An Embassy from Lubberland, The
Creation of the White Knights of the Order of
Aristotles Well: such were some of the pro-
"Thalia in Oxford
jected matters which the patient but wearied
Dons contrived to consign to the Limbo
of unfulfilled achievement. Nor were the
youthful projectors without their troubles.
Our friend complains that in the repetitions
as in the performances *' some there were
that stood by and gave aim, willing to see
much and do little." And he ends his en-
tertaining and ingenuous little tract with
this sound advice : ** Let others, hereafter,
take heed how they attempt the like, unless
they find better meanes at home and better
A JOURNEY TO THE NORTH
A Journey to the North
IN the summer of 1618, two years after
the death of Shakespeare, Ben Jonson,
the greatest Hving EngHsh poet, con-
ceived the original idea of a journey to
Scotland on foot and unattended. There
was much to attract him thither. Scotland
was the native land of his friend and royal
patron. King James. Jonson's father and
grandfather had been of Carlisle, and the
latter came thither, Jonson had reason to
believe, from Annandale across the Solway;
so that Jonson may well have shared that
" salmon-like instinct" which the King had
alleged as a sufficient reason for the royal
2 24 A Journey to the North
visit to the seat of his northern empire in
the previous year. Jonson was now in his
forty-fifth year, and was already showing
signs of that extreme corpulency which,
turning scorbutic and dropsical, cost him
much later his life. This journey to the
north may have been undertaken on his
physician's advice as a prolonged and heroic
constitutional. It was an eccentric and no
uncourageous thing to attempt in an age in
which the ways were notoriously bad and
beset with dangers by no means imaginary.
And the witticism of Sir Francis Bacon,
who told Jonson that he ** loved not to
see Poesie goe on other feet than poeticall
Dactylus and Spondaeus,'* may well have
been prompted by a friendly solicitude for
the safety and well-being of a man whom
even the worldly and unsympathetic Lord
Chancellor must have prized for his learn-
ing and personal worth, if not for the
lighter graces of his poetry.
A Journey to the North 225
At this time Jonson stood alone, the ac-
knowledged leader among the men of let-
ters of his day, a successful dramatist, critic,
translator, lyrist, and writer of occasional
verse, above all the accepted entertainer, in
his magnificent masques at Court, of the
nobility and of royalty itself. Jonson had
outstood the unpopularity which his uncom-
promising arrogance had raised against him
in his earlier plays on the boards of the
common theatres. He had braved and tri-
umphed over the attacks of envy and rivalry.
He had won the patronage, and with it
the regard and respect, of a larger number
of "great ones'' than any poet before his
time, and now lived on terms of easy fa-
miliarity with half the gentry and nobility
of England. Lastly Jonson had just com-
pleted a careful gathering in of all his
works in his folio edition of 1 6 1 6, the first
example of a collective edition of an Eng-
lish poet superintended by himself, and in
2 26 A Journey to the North
that an unexampled attestation of Jonson's
vogue and repute among his contempora-
Jonson's life had never been that of a
recluse. He lived in the public eye ; and
converse with men, the opinion of the ju-
dicious and the praise of his prince were
to him as the very breath of his nostrils.
At Court, where his beautiful and artistic
masques were recognized as the height of
the social elegance and poetical spirit of
their time ; on the boards of the London
theatres, where the sheer genius of the Al-
chemist and the Silent Woman had disarmed
the " mews of opposed rascality,'' as well
as the leers of *' envious criticasters ; '' in
the tavern (Elizabethan for the later club or
coffee-house), where Jonson sat enthroned
in state, the earliest of that august succession
of literary autocrats that ruled literary Bo-
hemia and annexed large provinces of bar-
barous neighboring Philistia — Jonson was
A Journey to the North 227
alone and unmatched. Hence when the pro-
ject of his journey was formed it was much
bruited about, and when at last he shook
the dust of London from his feet and " the
Dog, the Sunne, and the Tripple Tun "
for a time knew him not, it was like the
departure of a sovereign from the seat of
Among the familiar figures of the day was
one John Taylor, a water-man or wherry-
man, popularly known as "the water poet.''
Taylor was one of the two or three thou-
sand " poore men '' who made their living
on the river conveying passengers from
point to point : for the river was often
safer than the highway. Taylor appears to
have commenced poet by presenting his
little doggerel rimes to passengers of note,
thereby increasing the returns for his ferri-
age. He was encouraged by the wits, partly
in sport and out of curiosity to see what he
might do ; and Jonson sagely reports that
228 A Journey to the North
King James on one occasion, adjudging Sir
Philip Sidney "no poet," declared that he
had seen no verses in England like to " the
sculler's : '' a remark that may well have
been true, though hardly in the sense in
which his Majesty meant it. Be Taylor's
poetry what it may, this royal opinion was
the making of the water-man. He was now
a recognized author and emulous of the
fame of his rival in literary freakishness,
Tom Coryat, who had sailed all the way
to Hamburg in a cock-boat and traversed
most of the countries of Europe on foot,
writing up his adventures in his Crudities,
as he called them, and in other books.
Hence, whether by accident or design, when
Jonson set out north, Taylor followed him,
undertaking what he called the Pennyles
Pilgrimage or the Money-lesse Perambulation
of yohn Taylor, alias the Kings Majesties
Water-Poet, in which " he travailed on foot
from London to Edenborugh in Scotland
A Journey to the North 229
not carrying any money to or fro, neither
begging, borrowing or asking meate drinke
or lodging." The wits of the town may
have put Taylor up to his " pilgrimage ; "
Jonson certainly believed for a time that
the water-man was "sent hither to scorn
him." But this Taylor denied in his pre-
face, declaring : *' Reader, these travailes of
mine into Scotland were not undertaken,
neither in imitation or emulation of any
man, but onely devised by my selfe on
purpose to make triall of my friends, both
in this kingdome of England and that
of Scotland, and because I would be an
eye-witnes of things which I had heard of
that countrey ; and whereas many shallow-
brain'd critickes doe lay an aspersion on
me that I was set on by others or that I
did undergoe this project either in malice
or mockage of Master Benjamin Jonson, I
vow by the faith of a Christian that their
imaginations are all wide, for he is a gentle-
230 A Journey to the North
man to whom I am so much obhged for
many undeserved courtesies that I have re-
ceived from him and from others by his
favour, that I durst never be so impudent
or ingratefull as either to suffer any mans
perswasions or mine owne instigation to in-
cite me to make so bad a requitall for so
much goodness formerly received."
Jonson appears to have set out in June,
and to have taken the eastern route by way
of York and Newcastle. It is likely that
he found a warm welcome and fitting en-
tertainment at many a gentleman's house
on his way. Jonson's fame was widespread
over England and his journey had been
much talked of when in plan. Many would
welcome the man for his repute who cared
less for the poet. For the age was hospit-
able, and all doors were open to the ac-
credited bearer of news from Court and
from London. Even in company where he
was unknown, Jonson's commanding per-
A Journey to the North 231
son, his confident and outspoken opinions,
and convivial habits, must have v^on him
many a friend by the way-side. Jonson
knew both London and Westminster, and
could discourse the latest gossip of the thea-
tre and the tap-room. He could chat with
the collegian of Oxford or Cambridge, for
'* he was Master of Arts in both Universi-
ties,'' albeit " by their favor, not his studie ;''
nor could the most learned men of the age
have disdained the friend of Camden, Sel-
den,and Bacon ; nor the most aristocratically
exclusive, the accepted companion of the
literary and amiable D'Aubigny, Duke of
We have only one trace of Jonson on
his way north, and that is at Darlington
in Durham, where we find him engaged in
the trivial but necessary matter of the pur-
chase of a pair of new shoes, in the use of
which the great poet seems to have suf-
fered rather more than men of less weight.
23 2 A Journey to the North
Jonson may well have appreciated Taylor's
account of *' the last lap " of his long walk.
*' Having but fifteene miles to Edenbor-
ough, mounted upon my ten toes, [I] be-
gan first to hobble and after to amble, and
so being warme, I fell to pace by degrees/'
And Jonson must often, too, have agreed
with the water-man's impressions, when he
says : " The Scots doe allow almost as large
measure of their miles as they doe of their
drinke ; for an English gallon either of ale
or wine is but their quart, and one Scottish
mile, now and then, may well stand for a
mile and a halfe or two English."
At what time in the year Jonson arrived
in Edinburgh it is impossible to say, and we
can but surmise side jaunts to his ancestral
Annandale and Carlisle, to Stirling, to Loch
Lomond and the Highlands. Dominated by
its queenly castle perched on a rock, the
Edinburgh of the day was a fine walled town,
"wherein I observed," writes Taylor, "the
A Journey to the North 233
fairest and goodliest streete that ever mine
eyes beheld ; for I did never see or heare of
a street of that length, which is halfe an
English mile from the castle to a faire port
which they call the Neather Bow, and from
that port, the street which they call the
Kenny-hate is one quarter of a mile more,
downe to the Kings Palace, called Holy-
rood-House, the buildings on each side of
the way being all of squared stone, five, six,
and seven stories high and many by-lanes
and closes on each side of the way, wherein
are gentlemens houses ; for in the high-
street the marchants and tradesmen do dwell,
but the gentlemens mansions and goodliest
houses are obscurely founded in the afore-
said lanes : the walles are eight or tenne
foote thicke, exceeding strong, not built for
a day, a weeke or a moneth or a yeere, but
from antiquitie to posterite, for many ages/'
Edinburgh, indeed, was still the proud
capital of a separate nation which had given
2 34 A Journey to the North
her richer southern neighbor its King; and
although the royal promise of a return every
third year had been commuted, amid the
cares of state, to a single visit in fourteen
years, the Scots w^ere too loyal and too inter-
ested in the larger political issues in which
they were now sharing, to complain over-
much. Besides, Edinburgh was not with-
out its own politics and social life. The
Scottish Privy Council met in High Street
twice each week throughout the greater
part of the year, an august body duly pre-
serving the picturesque ceremonial of the
past and composed of forty of the chief
nobles and commons of Scotland, repre-
senting in its completeness the flower of
the realm. The City Council in its neigh-
boring quarters near the Tolbooth was
scarcely less august, whilst the Scottish bar,
like the bench, was already renowned for
its learning and its gravity, as for its social,
if not for its convivial graces. Neither
A Journey to the North 235
could Henry Charteris, the then principal
of ** the town's college/' a man famed
alike for his scholarship, his piety, and his
modesty, nor yet Sir William Nisbit, Lord
Provost of Edinburgh, the owner of a fine
neighboring estate of Deans, have either of
them been wanting in the proverbial hearti-
ness and open-handedness of Scottish hospi-
Taylor had reached Scotland, it appears,
by quite a different route, passing through
Preston and Carlisle and stopping first at
Moffat. Nor did he remain long in the
capital after visiting Holyrood, the Castle,
and " the haven and towne of Leeth," but
passing over to Burntisland, where he met
many friends, mostly petty officials of King
James's Court or royal pensioners, he betook
himself to the Highlands in quest of his
patrons, the Earl of Mar and Sir William
Murray of Abercarny. These he finally
overtook at what he calls the " Brae of
236 A Journey to the North
Marr '' (Braemar) at a great hunting which
he joined and which he describes con amove ^
returning towards the end of September to
Edinburgh. Taylor further tells us : ** Now
the day before I came from Edenborough,
I went to Leeth where I found my long
approved and assured good friend Master
Benjamin Jonson, at one Master John Stu-
arts house : I thanke him for his great kind-
nesse towards me : for at my taking leave
of him, he gave me a piece of gold of two
and twenty shillings to drink his health in
England. And withall, willed me to re-
member his kind commendations to all his
friends. So with a friendly farewell, I left
him as well, as I hope never to see him in
a worse estate : for he is amongst noblemen
and gentlemen that knowe his true worth
and their owne honours, where with much
respective love he is worthily entertained."
The late Professor Masson identified the
Master John Stuart of this passage with a
A Journey to the North 237
substantial householder, " incumbent of the
office of Water-Bailie of Leith and owning
a ship called the Post of Leith of which one
hears as employed some times in the govern-
ment service." How Jonson came to know
him, it is impossible to surmise. The poet
must have been comfortably lodged with
Master Stuart, within easy walk of town, for
Leith Walk was but a mile in length, and
although the precise particulars of his stay
in the northern capital are beyond recovery
we may feel assured that in the water poet's
words, "for he is amongst noblemen and
gentlemen that knowe his worth," we have
no idle compliment but a simple statement
of the fact. Happily in this we are not left
wholly to surmise. For in the register of the
Edinburgh Town Council, September 25,
161 8, and therefore much about the time
of Taylor's farewell visit, it appears that the
Provost, Bailies, Dean of the Guild, and
Council "being conveynitt," the following
238 A Journey to the North
order was passed: "Ordanis the Deyne of
Gild to mak Benjamyn Jonsoun, Inglisman,
burges and gild-brother in communi formal
Now we are informed that " the common
form of admission in the case of ordinary
burgesses was that the applicant, armed in
some regulated manner with a corselet, a
hagbut, or the like, appeared before the
Dean of Guild and his colleagues of the
Guild Chamber, took the customary oath,
and paid a larger or smaller sum for his free-
dom according to the kind and the degree
of the trading privileges to which it entitled
him." But it is plain that Ben Jonson was
not seeking trading rights in the city of
Edinburgh, and the subsequent entries of
the register make patent that this was an
honorary admission to the rights and privi-
leges of citizenship, a favor bestowed only
on men of acknowledged rank or promi-
nence and such alone as the city delighted
to honor. A later entry grants ^13 6s. 8 d.
A Journey to the North 239
to ** Alexander Pattersone for wrytting and
gilting of Benjamine Johnestounes burges
ticket, being thryis writtin." The Council
was apparently not easily satisfied with Pat-
tersone's calligraphy, and wished the Eng-
lish poet to take back with him a becoming
memorial of their esteem and the honor of
their bestowal. Nor was this all; a later min-
ute of the Council orders " the Thesaurer
to pay to James Ainslie, laite baillie, twa
hundreth twenty-ane pound, sex schillingis,
four pennyis, debursit be him upone the den-
ner maid to Benjamin Jonstoun, conforme
to the act maid thairanent and compt given
in of the same." No mean sum for a ban-
quet was ^221 6s. 4d., even when computed
in debased Scottish coinage. Dear to the
heart of convivial Jonson must have been
this public honoring of the Muses in his
person in the city sometime to be called the
Athens of the North; and we may let our
imaginations play as we will about this
2 40 A Journey to the North
memorable feast in which Sir William Nis-
bit, the Lord Provost, in the chair surrounded
by noblemen, scholars, chosen citizens, and
gentlemen of Scotland, sought worthily to
honor the greatest living poet of England.
Depend upon it, the tables groaned with
substantial fare and curious delicacies which
even the Nodes Ambrosiance of later days
were not to surpass ; nor could these north-
ern potations have been measured in terms
bf the Mermaid, or even in the more tem-
perate draughts of the Apollo Room of the
Devil Tavern, Jonson's later favorite Lon-
don haunt. Though Ben Jonson might hold
his own in this as in all else, we may feel
sure that his hosts, remembering the occa-
sion, might have addressed their guest in
Herrick's hearty words :
For we such clusters had
As made us nobly wild, not mad,
And yet each verse of thine
Outdid the meat, outdid the frolic wine.
A Journey to the North 241
From a literary point of view, however,
by far the most interesting man of Jonson's
meeting in Edinburgh was William Drum-
mond. Laird of Hawthornden, a poet of no
mean worth and a man of exemplary and
unaffected life. Thanks to his father's post
of gentleman usher to King James, young
Drummond, in his transit from the Univer-
sity of Edinburgh to the schools of Paris and
Bourges, had caught a glimpse of the Eng-
lish Court in 1606. He had stayed in Lon-
don long enough to purchase and to read —
we may believe with zest and profit to his
taste — some of the popular English books
of the time. For a contemporary list of his
reading contains Sidney's Arcadia^ Lyly's
Euphues, poems of Drayton and other popu-
lar living poets, and, above all. Love's La-
bour 'j- Lost, A Midsummer Nighfs Dream,
Romeo and "Juliet, Lucrece, and The Passion-
ate Pilgrim, Drummond indeed was a very
cultivated man and added to the classical
2 42 A Journey to the North
training befitting a gentleman of his station,
an acquaintance with French, Spanish, and
Italian authors, which travel, at least as far
as France, and reading had rendered consid-
erable. Although deeply interested in the
course of political affairs in his own and in
his foster country of England, and touching
at times the skirts of public life, Drummond
had nothing in common with the adventur-
ous horde of his fellow countrymen, which,
some dozen years before he had come into
his estate, had pressed southwards after their
King, intent to wrest their fortunes from
opulent England, and frequently offering no
better claim to the royal recognition than
the accident of their Scottish birth and their
unquestionable needs. Nor did Drummond
take an active part in the later turmoils that
hurried the nation to civil war and regicide,
though he was ever bold in the expression
of his loyalty to his King, and is reported
by some to have died of the shock received
A Journey to the North 243
in the news of King Charles's execution.
To the reserved and delicate temper of Wil-
liam Drummond, touched as he was with a
mellowing streak of the Epicurean, the inde-
pendence and seclusion of his paternal Haw-
thornden, its groves of oaks and beeches, its
rocky glens, "silvery Esk gliding between,"
were things beyond the price of rubies. And
he doubtless envied very little his friend. Sir
William Alexander of Menstrie, a poet like
himself, but one who had exchanged the
reminiscent making of Senecan Monarchic
Tragedies^ as he called them, for an active
life at the brilliant, frivolous, and vexatious
English Court, to the end that he might
write himself the Earl of Stirling.
Hawthornden House is still one of the
sights of the tourist to Edinburgh, who may
now go part way by train. He will recall
the depleted and polluted Esk, with much,
however, that is still picturesque and de-
lightful. Hawthornden is a fine old house,
244 A Journey to the North
hung on the edge of a cliff, half stronghold,
half commodious Jacobean dwelling. Above
are many and diamond-paned turret win-
dows, looking across the tree-tops to where
the stream, far below, swerves around a bend
to Polton. Beneath the house, cut in the
primitive red sandstone, are underground
chambers in which tradition affirms that
Robert Bruce once hid from the pursuing
soldiers of King Edward ; but which were
originally as likely as not the far earlier
stronghold of marauding Pictish chiefs. It
was to this pleasant seat, surrounded with
gardens, then as now, that Drummond wel-
comed Jonson and there he hospitably enter-
tained him for many days.
The two poets must have offered a strik-
ing contrast as they sat together under the
great sycamore tree that is still pointed out
to the credulous visitor. Jonson was a man
of great stature and exceeding bulk, with a
harsh-featured face, pitted with small-pox, a
A Journey to the North 245
stubble beard, a tousled head, and careless'
in his dress. Drummond, twelve years his
junior, was of delicate build and feature, of
somewhat precise manners, and, if we may
believe a contemporary miniature, rather
dainty in his attire, and fastidious even to
the curl and the trimming of his beard.
But Jonson, despite the misrepresentation
of three centuries, was no boor. Nor was
Drummond a fop. For twenty years the
English dramatist had known every man in
England worth knowing. He had conversed
with princes and received with self-respect
the patronage of lords and ladies. But he
had also served as a pikeman in his young
manhood, trod the stage as an unsuccessful
actor, and experienced the horrors of an
Elizabethan felon's cell. Drummond's life
had been far less eventful. He had lost the
bride of his youthful choice before their
marriage day and was still a bachelor, cher-
ishing the past with a sincere, if somewhat
246 A Journey to the North
sentimental, regret. Jonson, who reported
his late wife " a shrew, but honest," was
now a widower. The years had taken from
him, also, a son and a daughter and touched
his rugged nature with Death's irreparable
stroke. But Jonson was no sentimentalist
and deprecated any unmanly show of feel-
ing as much as he deified the Jonsonian trin-
ity, Wit, Learning, and Honesty or Moral
Nor were the literary ideals of the two
poets less at variance than their personalities
and their experience in life. Jonson's learn-
ing was almost wholly classical. Drummond
even affirmed that all the Englishman's criti-
cisms " of stranger poets " were " to no pur-
pose, for he neither doeth understand French
nor Italiannes.*' Be this as it may, Jonson
certainly had less sympathy and apprecia-
tion for the glories of Italian literature, for
Petrarch, Tasso, or Ariosto, than almost any
Elizabethan writer of note. The Scottish
A Journey to the North 247
poet, on the contrary, was saturated with the
poetry of Italy, and in his love of that sweet
sensuousness and in his adoration of sym-
metry and convention in form, practised the
sonnet, the canzon, and the madrigal —
those exquisite yet artificial flowers of the
Italian Renaissance — in a manner which
Sir Philip Sidney had hallowed to the Eng-
land of a generation before.
Jonson's visit was the great event of Drum-
mond's life. Nor was it a trifle to hold the
greatest of living English poets in familiar
colloquy by the fireside. Drummond was
full of question and Jonson answered with
candor and the large overstatement of inti-
mate discourse. Happily for us, Drummond
regarded the occasion as so memorable that
he reduced to writing many of the remarks,
the criticisms of contemporary authors and
other personages, the anecdotes, and the opin-
ions of his distinguished guest ; in no wise
purposing, as has been unjustly and injuri-
248 A Journey to the North
ously inferred, to blazon them to the world,
but that all might inure to an interested pos-
terity. The Notes of Ben yonsons Conversa-
tions with William Drummond is one of the
most valuable and interesting documents re-
lating to the great Elizabethan age which
time has suffered to reach us. In it we have
the unguarded utterance of a man whose
critical attainments and unparalleled oppor-
tunities entitled him to speak as few have
been privileged to speak. Many of his opin-
ions, it is true, were hasty, and some were
prompted by prejudice and personal ani-
mosity. Thus Daniel, his predecessor as the
chief poetical entertainer of the Court, was
" a good honest man, . . . but no poet ; "
the dramatists, Dekker, Middleton, and Day,
" were all rogues ; " " Francis Beaumont
loved too much himself and his own verses; "
and " Marston wrote his father-in-lawes
preachings, and his father-in-law his come-
dies." But who can doubt that the gleam
A Journey to the North 249
of truth flashes out in the words that " Sir
Walter Raughley esteemed more of fame
than conscience," that ** Salisbury never cared
for any man longer nor he could make use of
him," and that the late Queen "never saw
herself after she became old in a true glass."
Jonson was a good hater and an honest
one. Taxed by Inigo Jones, the King's
architect, with whom he had quarrelled, for
naming him a fool behind his back, Jonson
denied it; but declared: "You're ane ar-
rant knave, and I avouch it." On another
occasion he declared to Prince Charles
that " when he wanted words to express the
greatest villaine in the world, he would call
him ane Inigo." On the other hand Jon-
son was equally warm in his praises, getting
by heart and quoting with delight bits of
Spenser, Wotton, and other poets, affirming
that " so he had written The Burning Babe of
Father Southwell, he would have been con-
tent to destroy many of his own [poems],"
250 A Journey to the North
and declaring of Donne that he was " the
first poet in the world in some things."
Modesty was not among the cardinal virtues
of Jonson. Half in jest but half in earnest
he called himself "The Poet." He hon-
estly stated it as his conviction that "next
himself, only Fletcher and Chapman could
make a masque ; " and he maintained with
warmth " that he was better versed, and
knew more Greek and Latin than all the
poets in England, and [even the] quintes-
sence [of] their braines."
We must add to all this an equally candid
and openly expressed opinion of his host,
in which he told Drummond that he was
" too good and simple, and that oft a man's
modestie made a fool of his wits ; " that as
to Drummond's verses, "they were all good
. . . save that they smelled too much of the
schooles, and were not after the fancie of
the tyme." He even dissuaded Drummond
from poetry, "for that she had beggared
A Journey to the North 251
him when he might have been a rich lawer,
physitian, or merchant.'' Can we wonder
that Drummond summarized Jonson as " a
great lover and praiser of himself; a con-
temner and scorner of others ; given rather
to losse a friend than a jest ; . . . [he]
thinketh nothing well but what either he
himself or some of his friends and country-
men hath said or done ; he is passionately
kynde and angry ; careless either to gaine
or keep ; vindictive, but, if he be well an-
swered, at himself ?
And yet the two poets exchanged many
subsequent greetings of friendship and es-
teem. One of several extant letters of Drum-
mond to Jonson contains information con-
cerning emblems and impressce, as they were
called, gathered at the solicitation of the
English poet. Others convey other arch^o-
logical information. On the other hand,
Jonson transcribed for Drummond certain
of his unpublished poems, one of which he
252 A Journey to the North
pompously dedicates " To the honouring
respect born to the friendship contracted
with the right virtuous and learned Mr.
William Drummond, and the perpetuating
the same by all offices of love hereafter, I,
Benjamin Johnson, whom he hath honoured
with the leave to be called his, have with
mine own hand, to satisfy his request, writ-
ten this imperfect song." Jonson never saw
Drummond's written opinion of his charac-
ter, which be it remembered Drummond
never sought to publish. Drummond knew
Jonson's summary of his own. Was Drum-
mond a traitor to friendship ? Are his Notes
to be regarded " a tissue of malevolence ? "
Let him who has never entertained a single
arriere pensee of his friend be both judge and
jury, while all others hold in respectful re-
membrance the Scottish laird, not only for
his poetry, but for his honest and unideal-
ized portrait of a veritably great, if superfi-
cially faulty, man.
Actors, 105-127, no. III, 136,
140, 145, 151, 156, 158, 168.
Adam Belly 179.
Adventurers, 30, 31, 47, 51-53, 90,
Aery of Children y An, 105-127.
Africa, 70, 71.
Ainslie, James, 239.
Alaham, 80, 81.
Alcazar, the battle of, 72.
Alchemist y The, 226.
Alen^on, Duke of, 5.
Alexander, Sir William, 243.
Allegory, 10, 16.
Alleyn, Edward, 156,157, 160, 161.
Anjou, Duke of, 88, loi.
Annandale, 223, 232.
Antony and Cleopatra y 165.
Apollo Room, the, 240.
Ara Fortuntty 210.
Arcadia, 100, 241.
Areopagus, the, 95-97.
Arion, 20, 21.
Arraignment of Paris y The, 120.
Ascham, Roger, 132.
Astrophel and Stellay 100.
Ayres, 182, 183, 186, 188, 189,
Bacon, Sir Francis, 30, 97, 224, 231.
Bacon, Sir Nicholas, 4.
Baiting, 16, 107, 156.
Ballads, 72, 175, 178, 179.
Bandora, the, 196.
Banquet at Kenilworth, 20.
Barbycan Street, 32.
Barnfield, Richard, 174.
Barns as theatres, 203.
Beauchamp Chapel, jj.
Beaumont, Francis, 82, I 22, i 56, 209,
Be Hum Grammaticale, 205.
Bevis of Southampton y 179.
Borgias, the, 206.
Breast, a good, 175.
Breton, Elizabeth, 32, 38-45.
Breton, Nicholas, 32.
Breton, William, 29-47.
Bride-ales, 17-19, 179, 203.
Bruce, Robert, 244.
Bruno, Giordano, 79.
Buccaneering, 47, 52, 60—63.
Buchanan, George, 206.
Bullen, A. H., 189, 190.
Burdens, May-day, 175.
Burghley, Lord, 4, 72.
Burning Babe, The, 249.
Byrd, William, 174, 187.
Caesar, Julius, 165.
Calatrava, the order of, 66.
Cambridge, 6, 11, 94, 108,
132, 205, 231.
Camden, William, 4, 231.
Camena, 8 i .
Campion, Thomas, 174, 186,
Cardinal Wolsey, 169.
Carew, Sir Peter, 62.
Carlisle, 223, 232, 235.
Castle, Edinburgh, 235.
Cecil, Robert, 4, 61, 64, 70, 84, 249.
Chaloner, Sir Thomas, 61.
Champion, the royal, 87.
Chapel, her Majesty's, 7, 108-110,
113, 114, 116, 187.
Chapel children, the, 113.
Chapman, George, 122, 168, 170,
Chappell, W., 186.
Charles I, 78, 242, 243.
Charles II, 127.
Charles V, 55, 206.
Charles, Prince, 249.
Charteris, Henry, 235.
Chaucer, Geoffrey, 93.
Chettle, Henry, 158, 168, 170.
Chevy Chase, 178.
Children actors, 105-127.
Choir-boys, 108, 109.
Choir-master, the, 109, 113, 114.
109, Christian IV, 188.
Christmas, 175, 179, 208, 210-212,
Cibber, Colley, 127.
189, Cittern, the, 174.
City, 39, 40, 42, 45-47, 52, 53-
City Council of Edinburgh, 234, 237.
Civita Vecchia, 70.
Classic influence, 97, 98, 100, 246.
Clifton, Thomas, 115.
Clym of the doughy 179.
College of God's Gift, 157.
Come live with me and be my love, 181.
Comedy, 195, 205.
Commissioners, French, 88.
Conceit, loi, 181.
Consorts, 195, 199.
Contrapuntal composition, 179, 183,
186, 187, 192.
Controversy of Irus, A, 218.
Cornets, 176, 196, 199.
Coryat, Thomas, 228.
Costume, 8, 88, 89, no, I II, 158,
169, 181, 186, 194, 195.
Court, 5, 7-9, II, 91, 92, 108,
Cox, Captain, 20.
Creation of the White Knights of the
Order of Ar is to ties Well, The, 218.
Curtis, Sir Thomas, 59.
Cynthia, 1 20.
Cynthia* s Revels, 118, 120, 124.
Daborne, Robert, 160, 161.
Dancing, 194, 196, 197-200, 204,
Danes, overthrow of the, 19.
Daniel, Samuel, 248.
Davenant, Sir William, 78.
Davey, H., 189.
Day, John, 248.
Days, the, as characters, 214.
Dee, Dr., 52.
Defence of Poesie, 100, 178.
Dekker, Thomas, 1 51-154, 159,
168, 170, 248.
Denmark, 140, 188.
Descanting, 1 74.
Devil Tavern, 240.
Diana, 22, 23.
Diary, Hens lowers, 156-170.
Diary of a Resident of London, 41.
Discovery, 90, 91.
Dog Tavern, the, 227.
Donne, John, 250.
Dowland, John, 173, 174, 187, 188.
Drake, Sir Francis, 47, 63, 91.
Drama, Elizabeth and the, 10; adven-
ture commemorated in the, 52, 53;
on Stucley's life, 59, 60, 72; of
Greville, 80—82; children players
in the, 105-127; of Spenser's boy-
hood, 107, 108; the courtly and
academic, 108, 109, 203—219;
the Revels, 109; Field's attacks on
the, 117; ofjonson, 1 17, 1 18, 226;
satirical and allegorical, 117, 118,
120; of Marlowe and Shakespeare,
120, 121; realistic, 122, 123;
playwrights often actors, 136; Eng-
lish, abroad, 140; of Greene, 140,
141 ; of Shakespeare, 141, 142;
Henslowe and the, 154-170; pro-
duction of new plays, 162, 163;
payment for plays, 168. See also
Actors t MasqueSy Playwrights, and
the various dramatic authors.
Drayton, Michael, 167, 169, 170,
184, 185, 241.
Dress, 8, 88, 89, no, in, 158,
168, 169, 186, 194.
Drum, the, 176, 195.
Drummond, William, his education,
241, 242; in London, 241; read-
ing in English poets, 241; not an
adventurer, 242; his loyalty, 242;
at Hawthornden, 243; contrasted
vi^ith Jonson, 244; his bereavement,
245; his love of Italian poetry,
246; his entertainment of Jonson,
244— 25 1; literary ideals of, 248,
249; his Notes of Conversations y
247, 248, 252; Jonson's opinion
of, 250; letters of, to Jonson, 251,
Dublin Castle, 65.
Duel, the, 41, 42.
Dulwich, 157, 160.
Dutch wars, 43.
Dyer, Sir Edward, 95.
Eastward Hoe ! 46.
Edinburgh, 228, 232-241, 243.
Edward VI, 54, 93, 244.
Edwards, Richard, 109.
Elizabeth, her character and talents, 3-
II, 79; and Parliament, 5, 6;
learning of, 5, 8; and her Court, 5,
7-9, 91, 92, 100; a contemporary
portrait of, 8, 9; and the drama, 10,
107, 109, 113; the progresses of,
10—25; ^^^ ^g^ °^> 30* ^^<i trade-
ventures, 52; and Stucley, 57, 60,
62, 63, 65—67, 73; and buc-
caneering, 60-62; letter of Shane
O'Neill to, 63; and Greville, 78-
80, 83, 84,91, 92; Greville' s remi-
niscences of, 83, 84; champion of,
87; negotiations for marriage of, 88;
and the departure of Sidney and
Greville from Court, 91, 92; her
withdrawals of favor, loo; pro-
jected marriage to Anjou, 100; and
theatres, 107; allegorized in Endi-
mion, 120; in the Arraignment of
Parisy 120; and the Faerie ^eene,
135; and music, 175, 176; at
Gray's Inn, 209; Jonson's remark
Embassy from Lubber land. An, 218.
Endimion, 120, 121.
Epicoene or the Silent Woman y 118,
Epigram, 6, 184, 193.
Epitaph on Salathiel Pavey, 119.
Esk, the, 243.
Essay esy Bacon's, 34.
Eyases, little, 105-127.
Eyre, Simon, 46.
Faerie ^eene. The, 97, 99, i
FalstafF, 38, 165-167, 180.
Famous Victories of Henry V,
Faustina hath the fairer face, i
Faust us, 162.
Ferrabosco, Alphonso, 195.
Festivals, musical, 199.
Field, John, 117.
Field, Nathaniel, 11 6-1 18.
Fife, the, 176.
Fireworks, 16, 17.
Fletcher, John, 82, 122, 156, 250.
Florida, 57, 61.
Food, 20, 37, 38.
Fortune Theatre, the, 155.
Four Prentices of London, 52, 53.
Fragmenta Regalia, 79.
France, 8, 54, 55, 61, 64, 88, 100,
135, 242, 246.
French, 8, loo, 242, 246.
Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay, 141.
Friendships, literary, 82.
Frobisher, Sir John, 9 1 .
Fuller, Thomas, 61.
Full fathom five my father lies, 185.
Furniture, 33, 35—37.
Galliard, the, 5.
Garden, an Elizabethan, 33, 34.
Garden of Delight, The Muses' ,191.
Garter, Knights of the, 7.
Gascoigne, George, 39-45* 97» 177-
Gascoigne, Thomas, 94.
Gawain, Sir, 20.
George a Greene, 141.
Gesta Grayorum, 209.
Gilbert, Sir Humphrey, 47, 53, 91.
Giles, Saint, 29, 33.
Glass panes, 35.
Glass, Venetian, 36.
Godly Exhortation, A, 117.
God's Gift, College of, 157.
Gray's Inn, 108, 192, 208, 209.
Greek, 8, 98, 99, 194, 250.
Greene, Robert, 94, 1 31-147.
Gregory XIII, 70-72.
Grenville, Sir Richard, 47.
Gresham, Sir Thomas, 3 1 .
Greville, Fulke, his tomb, q']; his glory
under Elizabeth, 79, 80; his dramas,
80; his friendship with Sidney, 82—
87; his Life of Sidney, 83; his part
in tourney, 87-89; his attempt to
sail with Drake, 9 1 ; celebrated with
Dyer by Sidney, 95.
Groatsworth of Wit, A, 1 3 i-i 47.
Guy of Warwick, 179.
Gyles, Nathaniel, 1 1 3-1 1 7.
Hakluyt, Richard, 90.
Hal, Prince, 121, 180.
Hamlet, 105, 106, 141, 165.
Hampton Court, 1 1 1 .
Hanay, John, 177.
Harington, Sir John, 205.
Harpsichord, the, 176, 196.
Harrison, William, 37.
Harvey, Gabriel, 94—99.
Hathway, Richard, 167, 169.
Having this day, my horse, my hand, my
lance, 89, 90.
Hawkins, Sir John, 31, 47, 53, 63.
Henry II of France, 54.
Henry IV, 180.
Henry IV, 38, 165, 166.
Henry V, 121, 164, 165, 167, 180.
Henry V, 165.
Henry V, Famous Victories of, 166.
Henry VI, 163, 164.
Henry VI, 163, 164.
Henry VIII, 54, 58, 78, 93, 176,
Henslowe, Philip, 154-170.
Henslowe^ s Diary, 156—170.
Hentzner, Paul, 7.
Herrick, Robert, 240.
Hesse, Landgrave of, 188.
Heyw^ood, John, 93.
Heyw^ood, Thomas, 52, 53, 168.
Higgs, Griffin, 209-219.
High Street, 234.
Highlands, the, 234, 235.
History, 84, 94.
Hock-tide play, 1 9, 20.
Holland, 9, 43.
Holyrood, 233, 235.
Houses, Elizabethan, 33-39, 233.
Hox-Tuesday play, 19, 20.
Hume, Tobias, 186, 190.
Hunts-up, the, 175.
Ignoramus, 205, 206.
In praise of Music and Sweet Poetry,
173, 184, 187.
Inns of Court, 108, 192, 207-209.
Inns used for theatres, 107, 203.
Inquisition, the, 47.
Instruments, 174, 176, 179, 180,
189, 195-197. 199-
Interludes, no, 114, 203, 211.
Ira seu Tumulus Fortunes, 216.
Ireland, 31, 62-67, 69, 70, 73,
Isle of Dogs, 45.
// was a Lover and his Lass, 187.
Italian, 8, 242, 246.
Italy, 8, 97, 98, 100, 132, 134,
182, 185, 194, 242, 246, 247.
James I, 78, 79, 83, 156, 206, 223,
224, 235, 241.
Jew of Malta, The, 162.
Jewes Garden, 33.
John, Don, of Austria, 65, 68.
John, Sir, Parson of Wrotham, 167.
Jones, Inigo, 195, 249.
Jones, Robert, 186, 189, 191.
Jonson, Ben, relation of, in time to the
members of the Areopagus, 97; and
Field, 117, 118; plays of, cited,
117, 118, 227; and Pavey, 118-
I 20; wrote for boy companies, 122;
payment of, as playwright, 168;
and Henslowe, 168, 170; masques
of, 195,226; andlnigo Jones, 195,
249; Ferrabosco, the composer for,
195; and the courtly drama, 204;
journey of, to the north, 223-252;
Scotch ancestry of, 2 2 3 ; appearance
andphysical infirmities of, 225, 244,
245; character of, 224, 232, 250—
252; the position of, 225—227, 230,
240, 245, 246; folio of, 225; and
John Taylor, 228—230; purchases
shoes, 231; at Leith, 236, 237;
freedom of Edinburgh bestowed
on, 2 3 7—240 ; entertained by Drum-
mond, 244—25 I ; wife of, 246; and
literature, 246, 247; conversation
of, with Drummond, 248-252;
estimate of himself, 250; Drum-
mond' s estimate of, 251.
Jonson, An Ode for Ben, 240.
Jonson'' s Conversations with William
Drummond, Notes of Ben, 248.
Journey to the North, A, 223-259.
Julius Caesar, 164, 165.
King John, 58.
King Lear, 165.
King's College, 205.
Kinsale, 62, 67.
Knight of the Burning Pestle, 122.
Kyd, Thomas, 140, 142, 163, 164.
Kynaston, Francis, 127.
Lady of the Lake, 1 5 .
Lamb, Charles, 80, 81.
Laneham, Robert, 13-24.
Languet, Stephen, 79.
Latin, 5, 8, 16, 98, 108, 165, 192,
205-207, 210, 211, 214-216,
Lear, King, 165.
Legge, Thomas, 205.
Leicester, Earl of, 12-25, 64, 117,
Leinster, 67, 70.
Lennox, Duke of, 2 3 1 .
Lent, 209, 216.
Lepanto, battle of, 68.
Letter, Laneham' s, 13-24.
Lodge, Thomas, 94, 141, 144.
Lomond, Loch, 232.
Looking Glasse for London, A, 141,
Lovers Labour ^s Lost, 241.
Lucre ce, 241.
Lute, the, 174, 180, 196.
Lyly, John, 94, 120, 121,204,241.
Lyric, the, 174-177, 181, 186, 189, Midsummer Night's Dreamy J, 17,
192-194,200,225. SeealsoMtf^- 185, 215, 241.
rigalsy Song. Minstrels, 178-180.
Miracles, 19, 108.
Machiavelli, 3, 80, 143. Mirror for Magistrates y They 93.
Madrid, 61, 69. Mock-fights, 16, 19.
Madrigals, 182-186, 188, 193, 247. MoiFat, 235.
Mar, Earl of, 235. Monarchic Tragedies y 243.
Marenzio, Luca, 182. Monopolies, 47.
Marlowe, Christopher, 97, 120, 140, Montaigne, 206.
142, 143, 153, 162-164, 181, Moonshine, 215.
Marriage portions, 33, 39.
Marston, John, 122, 170, 248.
Mary, Queen, 55.
Mary Queen of Scots, 206.
Masque, the, 10, 16, 109, III, 152,
194-200, 203, 204, 209, 211,
216, 225, 226, 250.
Moralities, 10, 19, 108.
Morley, Thomas, 174, 183,
Morocco, 52, 71.
Morris-dancing, 18, 211,
Mountjoy, Lord, 92.
Munday, Anthony, 167, 169.
Murray, Sir William, 235.
Musa Trans alpinay 181, 182.
Masque at the Marriage of the Lord Music, 15, 16, 109, 114, 173-200.
Hayes y 196.
Masson, David, 236.
Merchant, the, 30, 31, 39, 45-47^
Merchant adventurers, 47, 51-63.
Merchant of Venice y The, 1 64.
Merchant Tailors' School, 113.
Mercury, 22, 23.
Mercutio, 179, 180.
Mermaid at Kenil worth, the, 20.
Mermaid Tavern, the, 169, 240.
Musicians, 179, 180, 187, 188, 196.
Mustaphay 80, 81.
My true love hath my hearty 185.
Nashe, Thomas, 141, 163, 205.
Naunton, Sir Robert, 79.
Neather Bow, 233.
New Year's Day, 212.
Newington Butts, 155.
Nichols, John, 1 1 .
Merry Wives of Windsor y ThCy 165. Nisbit, Sir William, 235, 240.
Middleton, Thomas, 248. Noctes Ambrosiant^y 240.
Notes of Ben Jonsoii' $ Conversations
with WilliamDrummondy 248, 252.
O Love ! they wrong thee much y 190.
O Sweet Content y 153.
Ode for Ben Jons on y An, 240.
Old Fortunatusy 153.
Oldcastle, Sir John, 166, 169.
O'Neill, Shane, 63, 64.
Opera, the, 194, 199.
Oxford, 6, II, 94, 108, 109, 203-
Pageants, 109, 203.
Palsgrave, John, 206.
Pamphlet, the, 95, 135, 140, 152,
Paris, 1 10, 241.
Parhament, 5, 6.
Passionate Pilgriniy They 241.
Pastoral, the, 100.
Patient Grissily 153.
Pattersone, Alexander, 239.
Paul's, children of, 108, no, 113.
Paul's Walk, 51, 121.
Pavey, Salathiel, 116, 118, 119.
Peele, George, 94, 120, 145.
Pembroke, Earl of, 64.
Penelope^ s Wooers, 216.
Penfiyles Pilgrimage . . , of John Ti^)'-
/<9r, 228-230, 232, 233, 235—237.
Petrarch, 181, 246.
Philip II, 65, 68-73.
Philomela y 177.
Pianoforte, the, 176.
Piers Penniless y 163.
Pipe, the, 179, 195.
Piracy, 31, 47, 52, 60-63, 66.
Pius V, 53, 68, 69, 73.
Plain-song, 1 74.
Playwrights, 136, 139-142, 151,
Poet at Kenil worth, the, 15.
Poetaster y The, 118, 120.
Poetry, and Elizabeth, 10; of Gre-
ville, 83 ; Sidney and the culti-
vation of, 90, 94, 99, 100, 181,
247; in Sidney's youth, 93, 94; the
Areopagus and, 94— loi; of Spen-
ser, 135; and music, 173-200;
Bacon's witticism on, and Jonson,
224; of Jonson, 223—226, 247; of
Taylor, 227, 228; of Drummond,
246, 247; Jonson on certain poets,
Porters at Kenilworth, I 5 .
Posies y 177.
Post of Leith, 237.
Poulderings, 210, 214, 218.
Prentices, 52, 53.
Prince, Christmas, 210, 212, 215
Prince of Purpoole, 208, 209.
Privy Council of Scotland, 235.
Progresses, 3—25, 43.
Prologues, 123-126, 152, 212.
Properties, stage, 109-111,158, 168
Puritanism, 47, 134, 204.
Purpoole, Prince of, 208, 209.
Puttenham, George, 178.
Radcliffe, Ralph, 206.
Raleigh, Sir Walter, 4, 53, 187, 249
Ralph Roister Doister, 205.
Recorder, the, 174.
Redcross Street, 29, 33, 40, 41.
Renaissance, the, 3, 247.
RepentancCy The^ 133.
Return from Parnassus y The, 123.
Revels, Queen's, 109.
Richard Cceur de Lion, 58.
Richard III, 165.
Richard Illy 165.
Richardus TertiuSy 205.
Rome, 68, 73.
Romeo, 165, 179.
Romeo and Juliet, 165, 179, 180,
, Rose Theatre, the, 155.
Rowley, Samuel, 170.
Sackbut, the, 196.
Sackville, Thomas, 205.
St. Andrew's, Norwich, 134.
, St. Brice's Day, 19.
St. Gyles, the clarke of, 214.
St. John's College, Oxford, 209, 210,
St. John's Day, 211.
St. Mary's Church, Warwick, 77.
St. Paul's, 108, no, 113, 121.
St. Saviour's, South wark, 155.
Salisbury, Earl of. See Cecil.
Savage men, 16.
Saxony, 55, 140.
Scenery, 168, 195, 200.
Schools, 78, no, 113, 117, 207.
Scipio Africanus, iio.
Scotland, 8, 63, 223-252.
Scott, Sir Walter, 12.
Scrivener, the, 32.
Sebastian of Portugal, 70, 71.
Selden, John, 231.
Seneca, 81, 243.
Sermon, an Elizabethan, 5.
Seven Days of the Weeky 214, 215.
Shakespeare, William, and the Queen's
progress, 13; works of, cited, 17,
36, 38, 58, 105, 106, 122, 141,
165, 179, 180, 185, 215, 241;
relation in time to Sidney, 97; and
the courtly drama, 121, 204; and
the boy companies, 122 ; and the
actor's profession, 136; Greene on,
141, 142, 145, 146; and Dekker,
151, 154; his career, 151; the
sonnets of, 153, 181 ; and Hens-
lowe, 156, 164, 165; the FalstafF
of, 165-167; payment of, 167;
love for music, 174; song-books
during the life of, 180; songs of,
185, 187; and Beethoven, 200;
read by Drummond, 241.
Shepheardes Kalender, The, 90.
Shews, 87, 109, 211, 212, 216.
Shoemakers Holiday , The, 46 .
Shrewsbury School, 78.
Shrove Tuesday, 216.
Sidney, Sir Henry, 64.
Sidney, Sir Philip, and Elizabeth,
4; schoolmate of Greville, 78; trav-
elled with Languet, 79; friendship
with Greville, 82-101; life of, by
Greville, 83-86, 91; Greville's
tribute to, 85, 86; at the tourney,
87-90; sonnet of, 89, 90; inter-
ested in discovery and adventure,
90, 9 1 ; plans to leave Court, 9 1 ,
92; literature in the youth of, 93,
94; at Oxford, 94; founded the
Areopagus, 95-99; study of pros-
ody, 99, 100; aims and achieve-
ments in literature, 94, 99, 100,
181,247; works of, 99, 100, 241;
Defence quoted, 178; My true love
hath my heart, 185.
Sidney, Life of the Renowned Sir
Philip, 83-86, 91.
Silent Woman, The, 118, 226.
Singing, 114, 174, 176.
Sir John O Ideas tie. First Part, 166,
Sir Thomas Stucley, 59, 60.
Sir Thopas, The Tale of , 178.
Skelton, John, 93.
Slavery, 31, 46.
Smerwick, 3 i .
SnuiFers, a pair of, as a character, 214.
Somerset, Duke of, 54.
Somnium Fundatoris, 214.
Song-books, 180, 182, 183,186,191,
Songs and song- writing, 10, 173-200.
Sonnet, the, 40, 43, ico, 174, 181,
Southwell, Robert, 177, 249.
Spain, 5, 8, 31, 52, 53, 61, 64-73,
91, 100, 242.
Spanish, 8, 31, 242.
Spanish Tragedy, The, 163.
Specimens of English Dramatic Poets,
Spendthrift, the Elizabethan, 44.-
Spenser, Edmund, and Elizabeth, 4;
and the Spanish invaders of Ireland,
30, 31; at Cambridge, 94; corre-
spondence with Harvey, 96; ex-
periments in classical metres, 98,
99; London in boyhood of, 107;
the Faerie ^eene of, 135; referred
to in Barniield's sonnet, 173, 188;
supreme beauty of the poetry of,
181 ; quoted by Jonson, 249.
Spiggott, Good wife, 212.
Spinet, the, 176.
Stage, the, 216.
Star-Chamber, the, 116.
Steele Glas, The, 43.
Stow, John, 33.
Stuart, John, 236, 238.
Stuart, Mary, 65.
Stucley, Thomas, 51-73.
Stucley, Sir Thomas y 59, 60.
Such was old Orpheus'* cunnings 185.
Suffolk, Duke oiy 54.
Sun Tavern, the, 227.
Sunday night, 215.
Surface, Charles, 44.
Surrey, Earl of, 94, 97.
Swan Theatre, the, 155.
Sycamore at Hawthornden, 244.
Table, the, 20, 37, 38.
Tabor, the, 195.
Take, O takey those lips away, 185.
Tamburlainey 140, 162.
Taming of the Shrew, The, 36.
Tavern, the, 226, 227, 231, 240.
Taylor, John, 227-230, 232, 233,
Temple, Inner and Middle, 108.
Thalia in Oxford, 203-219.
Theatres, the, 107, 11 4-1 16, 121,
Third Book of AyreSy 192.
Tilting, 15, 16, 87, 88.
Timers Complaint, 212-214.
Timon of Athens y 165.
Titus Andronicus, 164.
Tobacco, as a character, 125.
Tolbooth, the, 234.
TotteP s Miscellany, 93, 94.
Touchstone (in Eastward Hoe !'), \6\
Tourney in 1581, 88.
Tragedy, 194, 205, 216-218.
Tragedy of Philomela, They 211.
Triple Tun Tavern, the, 227.
Triumph, a, 1 10.
Trumpet, the, 15, 176, 195.
Twelve Daysy 211.
Two Pastorals y 95, 96.
Udall, Nicholas, 205.
Universities, 6, 11, 94, 108,
203-219, 231, 235, 241.
Venus, 22, 1 20.
Versification, 93, 94, 98-100, 192^
Vigilate on Candlemas Nighty 2I5j
Viol de gamboys, the, 1 74.
Violin, the, 196.
Virginals, the, 176, 187.
Voyages y Hakluyt's, 90.
Walsingham, Sir Francis, 4, 70.
Walthamstow, 32, 42, 44.
War of the Theatres, the, 121.
Warwick Castle, 78.
Warwickshire, 1 2-2 5 .
Watson, Thomas, 94.
Waver ley Novels, 168.
Westcot, Sebastian, iio.
Westminster School, no, 113, 117
When Music and Sweet Poetry agree,
Whittington, Sir Richard, 52.
Will, An Elizabethan, 29-47.
William the Silent, 79.
Wilson, John, 186.
Wilson, Robert, 167, 169.
Windsor, 1 10, 180.
Woman Killed with Kindness, A, 168.
Worthies of England, 6 1 .
Wotton, Sir Henry, 249.
Wyatt, Sir Thomas, 94.
Yong, Nicholas, 181, 182.
Tule-tide Melody of Christmas Sports,
Zabeta, 22, 23.
Zabeta, Masque of, 21-24.
Electrotyped aiid printed by H . O. Houghton ^^ Co.
Cambridge, Mass., U. S. A.